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April 20, 2015 8:50 AM, EDT

‘Internet of Things’ Will Boost Value of Global Supply Chain by $1.9 Trillion, Report Predicts

DHL.com

The expansion of connected technology will generate $1.9 trillion in revenue gains and cost reductions for the global supply chain and logistics industry over the next decade, according to a new report published by logistics provider DHL and information technology firm Cisco.

The trend report estimates that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, compared with 15 billion today.

It predicted that the expansion of the “Internet of Things” will have “game-changing consequences” for any organization with a supply chain or logistics operation, including more delivery options for customers and more efficient freight transportation and warehousing.

“The Internet of Things is the connection of almost anything — from parcels to people — via sensor technology to the Web, and both Cisco and DHL believe this will revolutionize business processes across the entire value chain, including supply chain and logistics,” said Markus Kückelhaus, vice president of innovation and trend research at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

Over the next decade, the logistics industry could “unlock higher levels of operational efficiency” as the Internet of Things connects millions of shipments, according to the report.

In freight transportation, tracking of goods will become faster, more accurate, predictive and secure, the report said. At the same time, connected fleet analytics will help to predict equipment failures and automatically schedule maintenance checks.

The report, entitled “Internet of Things in Logistics,” is available to download at www.dhl.com/internetofthings.

DHL and Cisco Consulting Services said they also are collaborating on an IoT innovation project intended to improve decision-making in warehouse operations with near real-time data analytics based on Wi-Fi connected devices.

DHL is part of Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Post DHL Group.