Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Pallet Alliance integrates Semtech LoRa in logistics platform

Steve Rogerson
March 24, 2020

Pallet Alliance, an innovator in pallet management programmes for multi-site manufacturing and distribution companies, has integrated Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWan protocol into its IntelliPallet IoT-based pallet monitoring logistics platform.
The platform enables enterprise-scale pallet management by integrating location and environmental sensors into wooden pallets, which comprise more than 90 per cent of the worldwide palletised shipping market.
“The IntelliPallet platform integrates LoRa devices in wooden pallets to provide accurate, in-depth data over distances, enabling managers to optimise the logistical efficiency of their operations, integrate pallets into cold chain and pharmaceutical blockchain applications, and leverage data collection at the pallet level to satisfy a wide range of business requirements,” said Michael Jones, a principal at North Carolina-based Pallet Alliance. “Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWan protocol reduce operating costs by providing an ideal combination of low power, flexibility and simplicity in deployment to create reliable tracking applications with industry-leading battery lifetimes.”
Wooden pallets represent an economical, sustainable and customisable standard in the shipping and logistics industry. However, legacy methods and industry practices provide limited economically feasible methods for tracking pallet location.
The IntelliPallet IoT platform delivers location and environmental data down to the individual pallet, and tracks these assets through the supply chain from manufacturer to end user, including while in transit. Pallets equipped with LoRa-enabled sensors integrate seamlessly with existing pallets and networking infrastructures, and leverage LoRaWans to deliver long range, accurate and real-time data on pallet location and status.
The flexible platform provides customised tracking capabilities, including an entry-exit notification from a geofenced area, stationary time, and arrival and departure from designated hubs, as well as environmental monitoring for factors including temperature, humidity and motion. Managers audit this data through cloud-based third-party applications to optimise their logistics workflow and protect assets.
“Integrating LoRaWan for geolocation and logistics monitoring enables customers to reduce inefficiencies and optimise processes,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT at California-based Semtech. “LoRa devices allow mass adoption of asset management and Pallet Alliance can simplify development as well as create flexible IoT platforms that successfully monitor and report pallet status and location over wide areas, including while in transit. This advanced and real-time insight is valuable to end users and allows them to optimise their processes for a quick RoI.”
Pallet Alliance designs and implements US pallet management programmes for multi-site manufacturing and distribution companies. Working collaboratively with customers, it combines manufacturing, pallet and market expertise to identify and eliminate the factors that drive cost reduction by optimising the product-process interface with industry-specific pallet management systems.