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According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report, industry expert analysts estimated companies lost more than $30 billion a year due to cargo theft. Loss and theft are continuous, whether in the air, by train, or over the road with truckers.
In the first quarter of 2016, Freight Watch International recorded 221 cargo thefts with an average loss of US $221,000 per load, with a grand total of just under US $25 million.
P.L.M. Industries, our start-up technology company located in Southern California, is set to disrupt the logistics tracking industry and prevent loss with the Smart Pro Tracking System.
Cracking the code for end-to-end visibility in logistics
Our system was designed to eliminate the biggest contributing factors to the bottom-line profit margin, which are lost and stolen freight. It’s the first and only system that provides complete, end-to-end visibility from manufacturer to user and shipper to consignee.
What it does specifically is provide a view into the full logistics chain, including trailers, shipping containers, luggage, high-value shipments, chemicals, you name it.
Working with the IBM Cloud Garage
After founding our company in 2014, we began developing devices for our system. We worked with the engineering firm IDNEO Technologies to design the user interface (UI). Then we came to IBM to integrate our devices with the cloud. We’re now hosting the Smart Pro Tracking System in the IBM Cloud environment.
IDNEO Technologies has a very strong working relationship with another provider, so initially we thought we would go in that direction. We started the process of engagement, but only got as far as exchanging emails. It was disappointing. In a moment of frustration, we turned to the IBM website and started a chat, which led us to where we are today.
When we came to IBM, we were focused on the hardware of the system, not necessarily the UI. But when we participated in an IBM Cloud Garage Design Thinking Workshop in San Francisco, we looked at the user experience and realized we needed to make use of the expertise of IBM to create not just the back-end functionalities of our system, but also an enhanced UI.
The workshop was great. We didn’t just cover product design. We covered the business aspects as well, to make sure that what we were building was in line with market needs.
Disrupting logistics tracking
There’s nothing out there that enables freight to communicate with each other the way the Smart Pro Tracking System does. There’s also nothing out there that provides end-to-end visibility. To stop theft and loss from occurring, shippers need that visibility.
Our system sends real-time alerts when an adverse situation happens during the shipping process. For example, the system can stop batch separations from happening. Items that are grouped together to go to one place will actually all arrive that way. If at any time during the transit process, any one of those items on the truck or trailer is taken or separated from its batch, the customer will get an alert that enables correcting that error.
Revolutionizing the way things are shipped
Our plans include incorporating the IBM Watson Analytics Service from the IBM Watson Developer Cloud portfolio so we can analyze different data points, such as weather and traffic accidents relative to where freight is. We could also incorporate other information, including a history of how workers have performed in the past and vulnerable shipping routes. Then the system can help us plan the best way to meet the customer goals for productivity and service.
With our devices and the IBM Cloud and Watson, we can revolutionize and change the way that things are shipped all over the world.
Everything we require is in the IBM Cloud Platform, such as web analytics and Watson logistic analytics. Having our system on the IBM Cloud Platform and IBM support behind us give us the confidence to say to any customer, “Yes we can do what you asked.”