Transforming supply chain visibility with Satellite IoT

30 June 2022

4 min read


According to Bearing Point, there will be an estimated 36 billion connected devices in the world by 2030 and spending on IoT worldwide is expected to reach €920 billion in 2022.

In recent years, huge demand for global IoT asset tracking has already led many Systems Integrators (SIs) to explore options for integrating Satellite IoT (SatIoT) into existing, successful terrestrial IoT solutions. With 85% of the planet not covered by terrestrial networks, SatIoT opens up the possibility of tracking assets in remote areas that are not accessible to cellular solutions.

This includes containers and livestock, and provides organisations an opportunity to collect data as assets move between various networks – from cellular to satellite. In light of the current supply disruption taking place across the world, this additional level of reliance and control over the supply chain has never been more important.

Despite strong demand, the cost and complexity of satellite technology and integration have historically challenged business model viability, and prevented businesses from reaping the benefits. However, the latest generation of cost-effective SatIoT is unlocking new opportunities.

Achieving successful integration

Any SI exploring the viability of adding SatIoT to existing cellular IoT solutions across supply chains must ensure the deployment model supports rather than undermines the IoT business case. A single solution can provide an array of information, from location to temperature, from impact to air quality. Businesses should consider what information is most useful too.

Real-time tracking solutions across the supply chain can not only provide 24×7 support and remediation for customers, reducing wastage and improving integrity but also transform efficiency through optimisation.

For example, do they need to constantly monitor the temperature of containers, or be alerted to anomalies? Services that proactively respond to changes, at the same time as sharing the information with the freight owners or fleet managers can radically reduce the potential impact on the cargo.

For devices located in remote and inaccessible locations, where cellular coverage is not available, the power consumption of a tracking device is vitally important. Maximising battery life reduces the need to replace devices in the field, therefore transforming the ROI of the solution. The design of the device is also crucial. From containers at sea to livestock in remote locations, clever design is key to maximising the lifespan of the device and reinforcing the business case.

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The ability to send commands back to assets, rather than just receive data from them, is hugely powerful and enables an array of new use cases. For example, bidirectional communication enables farmers to command silos to release food, open gates or manage irrigation systems, without any need for expensive and often hard-to-source human interaction.

Partner application

Our partner ArrowSpot has utilised cost-effective, low-power, secured, direct-to-satellite connectivity to provide full visibility of supply chains and fleets. Its fast-track integration of Astrocast’s SatIoT into its ArroWatch application, through its new device, ArrowTrackSAT, enables shipping lines, freight forwarders and cargo owners to remotely track assets in areas where a cellular connection is not available.  

ArrowTrackSAT, an hybrid asset tracking device for real-time monitoring

Since its launch, ArroWatch has monitored over 30,000 trips. The ArrowSpot 24/7 control center has tracked over 1 million cargo days over that time – valued in excess of US$9 billion. Around 6% of trips require some kind of intervention to safeguard cargo – and, as a result, the service has saved over US$500 million in cargo that would otherwise have been wasted. Over half of that cargo – over US$250 million, was vital pharmaceutical products, with food cargo making up over US$150 million.

Now, with connectivity to Astrocast’s SatIoT network, ArrowSpot is enabling companies to monitor assets, including the cold chain, around the entire world. Learn more about ArrowTrackSAT, ArrowSpot’s hybrid asset tracking device for remote real-time monitoring.

With cost-effective, accessible SatIoT technologies, SIs can radically extend the value of IoT. If you’d like to learn more about how our SatIoT technology could transform supply chain visibility and safeguard the cargo of your customers, download our free white paper “Integrating Satellite IoT to transform Supply Chain Visibility” and get in touch today to take your IoT strategy further with Astrocast.