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DB Schenker is going to upgrade its supply chain mechanisms by means of IoT technologies

Building up a low-orbit satellite system with the function of loT embedded may boost considerable price reduction.

In most cases, 20-40% of the product value for the ultimate costumer is composed of logistics costs. Among the factors, contributing to the expenditure growth the following ones may be mentioned: inadequacy of the legislation, transport downtime, necessity to ensure the secure transportation, difficulties connected with the route control and tracking systems. However, at least one of the above-mentioned problems may be solved effectively.

DB Schenker is constantly in search of innovative approaches aimed at breaking down stereotypes in the sphere of supply chains arrangement.  The company widely implements different modern digital platforms and the loT platform is among them, thus, DB Schenker gives customers a chance to monitor supply chains and lets the clients enjoy the advantages of a special cargo tracking service. Nowadays in order to provide the effective data exchange between mobile equipment and the transport management system logistics providers suggest the services assisting to identify geographical coordinates of the vehicles and cargoes. These services operate receiving navigation signals from the Global Positioning System and sometimes from the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and as the Chief Executive Officer of JSC Schenker Aivars Taurins, underlines, the received information is transmitted to the dispatch centers via cellular channels.

Never the less, the expert points out that in some areas cellular networks demonstrate poor functioning, whereas the number of regions even suffer from incomplete coverage. It is not easy to avoid the cases of this kind completely as, on the one hand, the equipment presupposes the usage of channels of mobile satellite service (Iridium, Globalstar, Inmarsar, Orbcomm) and ,on the other- there is a discrepancy between the prices for the equipment and its operational parameters. For instance, subscriber`s units cannot operate autonomously on the basis of inner power sources. 

Thus, it is extremely important to introduce a satellite system in attempt to receive maximum benefits from the loT function and to eradicate all the drawbacks possible. Coming up with the effective solutions in this sphere is nowadays on the top of the agenda for DB Schenker. A low-orbit satellite system with the embedded function of loT will allow the logistics provider to receive the accurate data from any part of the world, to report if the transportation is adequate and secure and to demonstrate the updated information concerning the status of the delivered item and its storage parameters. Aivars Taurins describes the above-mentioned innovative method as an approach which is about to open a window of opportunities.

Valeriy Laskovets, the IT director of JSC Schenker, also states that implementing the new system the company will not only lower the costs for the service, but will eliminate so-called “blind spots”, territories deprived of GPRS coverage. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities has already supported the project. The space segment of the system will be formed by low-orbit microsatellites, and the terrestrial infrastructure will be represented by standard modules. It is also planned that prices for above-mentioned equipment will be similar to those for the devices used in cellular networks.

The system is supposed to be put into operation approximately in 2024. It will possess a globally distributed terrestrial structure, providing the free access to its resources at the national and regional levels.