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Safety and Productivity Solutions

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Special Delivery: Eyes on the Inside of Shipments

Load up the truck -- here comes Connected Freight


What happens when a supermarket receives a truck full of fresh flowers, just before a major holiday, only to find out they had spoiled in transit when the temperature controls failed? How does a manufacturer know if a piece of highly-sensitive electronic equipment is damaged by a heavy bump while being loaded onto a truck? 

Every day, transportation and logistics companies are faced with costly challenges when shipping high-value freight, sensitive equipment and perishable goods. In 2016, the U.S. and Canada saw 554 cargo thefts with an average loss of nearly $207,000 per shipment, according to CargoNet.

Connected Freight, a new Internet of Things and cloud solution, provides shippers and logistics companies the ability to monitor freight to avoid theft, reduce waste and minimize damage.

Connected Freight

The solution was developed in collaboration with Intel and leading logistics providers DHL, Expeditors and Kuehne + Nagel. Connected Freight uses cost-effective sensor tags that sense a range of factors such as temperature or vibration. A mobile gateway can capture the sensor data within a truck or shipping container and then transmit it to a cloud-based platform for users. 

“Shippers, logistics providers and retailers are faced with a host of costly freight challenges such as theft, damage, spoilage and delays,” said Taylor Smith, president of Honeywell’s Workflow Solutions business. “This cloud-based solution provides our customers with detailed analytics that helps them plan, anticipate and react immediately to incidents that occur during shipment.”

For manufacturers and shippers, it is not enough to know a shipment left one place and arrived at another in the logistics chain. Businesses need direct access to data that informs them whether conditions during transit or during the loading process have not damaged the product.

This monitoring could involve knowing if perishable goods – such food and flowers – or pharmaceuticals were exposed to heat that could spoil the product, or if excessive vibration on the road has damaged sensitive equipment.


It makes a lot of sense to those who are in the day-to-day of the logistics world. "We see visibility tracking solutions such as this as an important component to our semiconductor logistics efforts and is something we believe will bring tangible value across other sectors within DHL as well." said Connor F. Charles, vice president of Technology Sector Americas for DHL, which has been supporting and participating in the project.“Shipment visibility solutions such as the Connected Freight solution are a critical solution path for logistic service providers to meet the long-term goals of in-transit visibility, security and handling care that are critical elements in industries such as life sciences, semiconductor and others in the future.”


Connected Freight was introduced during Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions’ launch event broadcast live on May 18. A replay of the launch broadcast can be viewed online at: http://hwll.co/live.