The Agriculture Industry Is Being Faced
With New Challenges
The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed many weak points in the way America works. As we return to work, we’re discovering that our supply chain does not operate as well as it once had. There is a lack of workers and assets all through the line that causes delays and price increases for many standard supplies. It has never been more obvious that we need a robust asset tracking system for our agriculture and transportation industries to mitigate these costs and delays.
The Importance of Optimizing Each Agriculture Asset
It takes a variety of different equipment, trailers, and trucks to get crops from the farm to Americans’ tables and across seas. For example, 50% of all soybeans grown in America are exported. First, they travel in tractor-trailers to get to an export elevator. Then, they are added to a rail car or barge to get through inland waterways. From there, they head to various ports and harbors, where they are then loaded onto ships and sail away to other countries.
Before this distribution process even begins, assets such as combines, seeders, sprayers, and utility trailers are found on large farms across the country facilitating day-to-day operations of the agriculture industry. Implementing advanced GPS trackers on these assets, paired with an asset tracking platform, allows those in the industry to ensure their business is performing to its fullest potential. Direct benefits (such as increased asset utilization, productivity, and also preventing theft/unauthorized use) allow for the most ROI to be recouped from each asset.
How Infrastructure Factors Into The Industry
Not only do we use a variety of trailer types and vehicles to transport agricultural crops, but we also use many methods to transport them. Interstate highways, railways, and waterways are all used to get crops from the farm to the people.
One major waterway we use to transport crops is the Mississippi River. One stretch from Minneapolis to St. Louis is 800 river miles long and has a total elevation drop of 404 feet. To manage these drops, barges use a system of locks and dams. When a dam is closed for repairs, there is no other way for the barge to get down the river, so the entire supply chain gets backed up.
The government’s new infrastructure bill will go a long way towards repairing the highways, railways, and waterways we use to transport goods, but that construction will take some time. Asset tracking for all assets allows those in the agriculture industry to stay updated on the location of their crops and adjust routes accordingly. It can also send alerts for areas that are closed or under repair as part of the infrastructure overhaul so alternate methods can be used to avoid supply chain disruption.
Why We Need Multi-Modal Asset Tracking
With so many methods of transportation, asset monitoring can be a complex situation to manage. Tracking the location of each truck, trailer, and rail car along with the operational status of all highways, bridges, locks, and dams, would be a great benefit to the supply chain.
Knowing when a road is blocked, a bridge is down for repair, or a dam isn’t open means the vehicles using those methods can be rerouted to avoid delays.
Attaching an asset tracking device to each asset (trailer, truck, or equipment) makes finding their exact location much easier and allows your organization to be agile in fulfilling each shipment. Connecting those devices to an asset tracking software platform provides an easy-to-use dashboard that offers all the information you need to make an informed decision.
By avoiding these delays, we speed up the supply chain, make the most of the assets and workers we have, and get America back on its feet.