Intel on Thursday announced a new IoT offering, the Intel Connected Logistics Platform, that aims to provide the shipping and logistics industries with an array of real-time data from shipments that are in transit.
The platform has the potential to help those industries solve some of their most pressing and difficult-to-address issues, such as spoilage of perishable goods during shipment, Intel said.
Intel and Honeywell also announced an initial solution that will use the IoT architecture of the Connected Logistics Platform. Honeywell said that its Connected Freight solution would provide updates around location, temperature, humidity, shock and other data on shipments that are under way.
The announcement of the Connected Logistics Platform by Intel is "very encouraging," said Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development and strategic initiatives at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif.-based Intel partner.
"When they got into [IoT], they were very open about the fact that it was a little bit of a science project, but that at some point in time it would turn into some products. So this is in line with what they discussed with us when they started out," Monteros said. "It's now starting to turn into solutions. With what they're doing, and with what Cisco is doing, I think everyone is finally turning this into something real."
And that's good news for channel partners, because "from the channel side, we have limited resources," he said.
"When people like Intel and Cisco are putting resources behind [IoT], and turning it into an actual product, that's when it starts to take off in the channel," Monteros said. "So I'm very happy to see this. The channel is very good at innovating off a platform, but somebody's got to create the platform."
Estimates suggest that cargo loss last year totaled $60 billion, with an estimated 30 percent of perishable goods spoiling during shipment, according to Intel.
To address these issues, Intel said that the Connected Logistics Platform would provide "unprecedented levels of insight" into the current status of shipments.
"Thanks to data accessibility, shippers and carriers will be able to establish a more reliable supply chain network by having deeper visibility and information on shipments," said Chet Hullum, Intel's general manager for industrial solutions, in a news release.
Honeywell's Connected Freight solution will use sensors—attached to packages or other assets—to gather data and transmit the information wirelessly.
Shipping firms and logistics service providers will be able to use the data to make decisions that will cut costs of operations, while also boosting customer service and using assets more efficiently, Intel and Honeywell said.
Shippers, for instance, will be able to reroute shipments if there is a change in demand, or avoid routes that could be prone to delays, the companies said.