This is a case study of integrating Tag-N-Trac sensor device with Skylo Technologies to deliver global supply chain visibility enabling end to end track and trace capabilities for critical shipments.

This post was originally published in Skylo.

Use Case: Global Supply Chain Visibility

Problem Statement

Problem Statement

Global supply chain visibility for high-value shipments has always been a challenge due to inadequate network coverage and unsuitable form factor of tracking devices.

Realization Approach

Realization Approach

By combining the world’s smallest sensor-infused cellular IoT asset tracking device with just a 5 mm thick form factor, integrated with a non-terrestrial network, logistics operators can dramatically reduce cellular “dead spot” coverage issues during transit.

Solution Space

Solution Space

The resulting solution offers the promise of anytime and anywhere connectivity for sensitive cargo like pharmaceuticals, perishables, and high value goods with a host of sensing capabilities around GPS, temperature, humidity, shock, pressure, and open/close monitoring,

Tag-N-Trac introduced one of the world’s smallest sensor-infused cellular IoT asset tracking devices with the launch of its Smart Sense™ Tag. Today, through the collaborative efforts between Tag-N-Trac and Skylo Technologies, the Smart Sense™ Tag is now capable of delivering global connectivity without any hardware modifications. It’s the same Tag-N-Trac device – using the same cellular chip within the same module and the same antenna – only now it can connect globally via satellite.  Now, the world’s largest shippers of high value goods can utilize Tag-N-Trac’s solutions to achieve truly global supply chain visibility using the same edge cellular device via affordable satellite connectivity.

Hardware device for global supply chain visibility
Smart Sense™ Tag, now enhanced with Skylo’s satellite connectivity

A New Paradigm In Everywhere Connectivity And Positioning

At just over 5 mm thick, the Smart Sense™ Tag provides positioning via traditional GNSS while also acquiring geolocation through cell tower triangulation, which allows devices to establish accurate positioning from the vehicle. By integrating Skylo’s global satellite connectivity, the Smart Sense™ Tag is now able to communicate anywhere, anytime while dramatically reducing cellular “dead spot” coverage issues.

Portable, Sensor Based Alerting

To meet the potential of “IoT 2.0”, sensors must both provide context-based location reporting as well as enable the generation, collection, and communication of a variety of sensor metrics. Tag-N-Trac’s devices monitor a variety of ancillary parameters including temperature, humidity, shock, pressure, and open/close monitoring, particularly for sensitive cargo like pharmaceuticals, perishables, and high value goods.

Track location, humidity, temperature, shock, vibrations and more

A growing product suite of ultra-thin sensors

Tag-N-Trac’s rapidly expanding product mix includes ultra-thin bluetooth and cellular shipping labels (due for release in the coming months), as well as additional tracking devices for specific use cases like high-sensitivity temperature loggers, and asset tags. The expanding product suite is designed to enhance real-time visibility, traceability, and modularity. This partnership between Tag-N-Trac and Skylo includes satellite connectivity with every Tag-N-Trac cellular device, and doubles-down on the promise of anytime and anywhere connectivity.

With Skylo, Tag-N-Trac sensors are connected anywhere — no matter how remote the destination.

Better coverage = Enhanced services

With today’s critical real-time visibility requirements, it’s important that there are no gaps in connectivity. Critical alerts transmitted by Tag-N-Trac devices via Skylo – whether they’re alerting about temperature threshold excursions, cross docking and customs clearances, package or container “open” notifications, or potential theft activity.

Connected sensor data can also enable cost-savings programs and ensure maintenance records are current, certify compliance, and minimize usage of critical resources.

Best of all, Skylo’s satellite connectivity costs only a few dollars a month to extend an existing mobile data plan.

Ensuring safe shipment of pharmaceuticals through global supply chain visibility

The DSCSA (Drug Supply Chain Security Act) took effect on January 1, 2023 and requires that pharmaceutical manufacturers securely record the logistics journey from factory to pharmacy. Temperature and humidity metrics need to be recorded and any threshold deviation could alter the drug’s efficacy. All of this is done to ensure consumers are given functional dosages and, ultimately, better healthcare.

As an example, a temperature-sensitive shipment of insulin requires that the temperature level remains within 36°F to 46°F so long as it remains unopened. If the temperature rises or falls towards the edge of this range, an alert can help address the problem before damage renders the insulin ineffective.

With Tag-N-Trac, the shipper can continuously monitor the shipment by sending alerts via nearby cell phone towers. When the shipment is out-of-range from a cell phone tower, connectivity automatically switches to the Skylo-operated satellite network, ensuring connectivity anywhere.

Monitor sensitive cargo at all times, such as vaccines in transit

Simplified global connectivity

For solution providers that need global connectivity like Tag-N-Trac, relying on cellular roaming alone can be problematic. That’s because cellular roaming requires signals to bounce between disparate networks, which are managed by various network operators. This creates technical challenges like lengthy authentication procedures, battery drain, and unreliable connectivity. Reliance on roaming also adds the unpredictability of roaming costs.  Skylo’s global network solves challenges by offering a seamless, ubiquitous network, kind of like a global safety net, offering a network to roam onto, when compatible cellular networks aren’t available.

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