Data and identity management: Making logistics tamper-proof

As the efficient utilisation of data management is evolving, the logistics and transportation industry is embracing newer technologies to boost its supply chain management. Today, logistics providers are managing a massive flow of goods, and at the same time, creating vast data sets. For millions of shipments every day, origin and destination, size, weight, content and location are all being tracked across global delivery networks making the process transparent and safer.

With every industry embracing digitisation, the logistics and transportation industry too is not far behind. New technologies, market entrants, customer expectations and business models in the industry are witnessing a digital transformation and adapting smart features. Today, logistics providers are managing a massive flow of goods and at the same time, creating vast data sets. For millions of shipments every day, origin and destination, size, weight, content and location are all being tracked across global delivery networks.

In logistics and supply chain management, cargo theft worldwide is estimated to cost enterprises as much as USD 60 billion per year and 90% of cargo theft is reported to have happened during the transport of goods on trucks. Several container security imaging applications and employee credentialing programs like TWIC (Transportation Workers Identity Card) have been able to integrate with Physical Access Systems, Identity Management Systems (IDMS) and Human Resource applications that can verify employee backgrounds, certifications and vendor management applications. Big Data and logistics are made for each other, and today the logistics industry is positioning itself to put this wealth of information to better use by consolidating the sophisticated data analytics into this traditionally fragmented sector. The solid technical and practical understanding of Identity and Access Management (IAM) will help industries to enhance the time-bound delivery outputs which can be further leveraged to assess the current maturity of the production, operation and execution; evaluating the identity gaps and recommending a modern as well as future-directed IAM strategy to illustrate the potential market generation.

As per Zion Market Research, the global identity and access management market was around USD 10.12 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately USD 23.38 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of slightly above 12.84% between 2019 and 2025. The global consumer identity and access management market is prevalent in generally four regions, which include North America (USA, Canada and Mexico), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India and rest of Asia-Pacific) and LAMEA (Latin America, Middle-East and Africa).

Smart City Columbus (Ohio, USA), in its ultimately successful bid to the Department of Transportation (DOT) of USA’s Smart City Challenge, laid out a detailed strategy to reduce freight truck congestion using smart logistics and provide real-time traffic information to improve commuter mobility. The robust future of identity and data management strives to improve freight transportation to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. The city plans to develop a truck platooning system that allows two or more semi-autonomous freight trucks to communicate in real time.

Smart City Barcelona has developed an open-source platform called Sentilo, which integrates data from sensors and makes it available to information systems across the city by managing the data for street lights to accommodate real-time traffic conditions, regulation of parking spaces and smart transit services, making trips around the city extremely simple. Smart City Helsinki (Finland) uses an open-source platform called BioTope, an EU funded project which fosters both innovation and collective Big Data management. Smart City Tokyo’s version of an open public platform is called, which connects the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other sources of Big Data with government data, to enhance smart applications across Tokyo. It allows Tokyo city government or other government agencies to share data with the public and businesses, providing information such as the flow of people or vehicles within the city.

As the efficient utilisation of data management is evolving, Smart Nation Singapore has encouraged the Open Data and Analytics for Urban Transportation project. Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) plans to use data from sensors installed in vehicles and also work to provide travellers with access to real-time data such as bus arrival time, taxi availability, traffic conditions, and car parking availability, so they can make informed decisions on how to navigate their surroundings. The Smarter Transport Management System for Smart City London with the Help of WSO2, Transport for London (TfL) has a daily challenge to keep a city of over 8 million people moving around the metropolis. London’s new road management system relies on WSO2’s API management, integration, identity and access management, and analytics products for the intelligent work needed.

In India, Smart City Pune has proposed several advanced solutions like Bus System ITMS, Intelligent Road Management, Citilogik Solution and e-Chalaan which have a robust foundation of data management. Likewise, Smart City Surat has proposed IT-MAC (Integrated Transport – Mobility Administration Center) and S-Connect Card Management System and Smart City Bhopal has proposed transportation solutions including intelligent traffic management, smart parking and additional smart applications whereas Smart City Naya Raipur has gone for city- wide implementation of identity management.

The global big names in intelligent transportation providers’ labs like Tesla Innovation Centre, Hyperloop, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, SKODA Auto, Ford Research Innovation Centre, Volkswagen Automotive, Volvo Concept, Tata ELXSI, etc. are the frontrunners and integrators delivering identity and data management solutions. Other software companies operating in this sector are Cisco Systems, IBM Corporation, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Dell Inc., HCL Technologies Limited, Robert Bosch GmbH, Larsen & Toubro Limited, TransUnion, Ping Identity Corporation, Mitek Systems Inc., GB Group Plc, ID Analytics LLP, Aware Inc., OneLogin, CSIdentity Corporation, etc.

There are enormous opportunities available to the private market players, governments, alliances, non-government organisations and service providers in transport and logistics, which salvage the actual promise for a better future. Only those industries which recognise opportunities, can exploit them. Smart transportation, harnessing the use of identity and data management, will increase the efficiency in terms of revenue and utilisation of disruptive technologies because it doesn’t only promise to provide seamless city transport, but also enhanced customer experiences in logistics and supply chain management.

About the author: Mohammad Nurullah is a Smart Cities Consultant with experience in Global Mobility Solutions, Intelligent Transport Management and Digital Smart Solutions. He also has major contributions in several Smart Cities projects including Infra-ICT-IoT solution, American smart city Naperville and European smart cities Barcelona, Vienna, Oslo, citizen centric benchmarking, and pan-India Smart Cities business entry by preparing market strategy for several MNCs.