DHL and Huawei offer Internet of Things Solution to improve inbound-to-manufacturing logistics at Chinese site

By Olivia Minnock

After signing an MOU in February to develop a range of supply chain solutions for customers using industrial grade Internet of Things Hardware and Infrastructure, a new inbound-to-manufacturing logistic solution has been developed by Huawei and DHL.

The new application aims to make things run more smoothly on manufacturing sites from when supplies arrive to when they are used in the manufacturing process. An example of this is ensuring wheels for vehicles arrive at the end of the production line rather than the beginning, to reduce costs and time in getting supplies to the right place.

At present, inbound-to-manufacturing logistic processes can be inefficient and time-consuming, especially where a site has a high turnover of deliveries. Delays can be caused by handling shipments and trucks arriving at the wrong location within a site.

This is being achieved with a new Narrowband Internet of Things application being used at an automotive site in Linzhou, China, which should streamline yard management and improve processing time.

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It is hoped that NB-IoT chipsets will, in a simple and cost-effective way, allow DHL Supply Chain to collect clear dock availability and pass this on to dispatchers and drivers. Drivers will be able to check in and receive a queue number and waiting time via an app.

Inbound trucks are prioritised via this system so waiting times for drivers are halved, and manufacturing delays lessened as materials arrive on time.

In a recent press release, Dr. Markus Voss, CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain has stated: “Our goal is to enable a more integrated logistics value chain through greater connectivity, enhancing the customer experience.”

Proof of concept for the application is currently ongoing until the end of September, at which point DHL and Huawei will look into enhancing it with additional features like automatic number-plate recognition.

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