Intel, Honeywell collaborate on logistics, shipping IoT

The partnership combines Intel's new logistics platform and Honeywell's hardware and cloud services.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Intel and Honeywell on Thursday announced they're extending their Internet of Things partnership to shipping and logistics.

Intel is launching a Connected Logistics Platform that enables companies to get real-time information, and make real-time decisions, about products they're moving. Building on the Connected Logistics Platform, Honeywell is launching what it calls its Connected Freight solution. It includes a package of low-cost sensors to attach to packages or other assets, which send information to Honeywell's enterprise cloud service.

Effectively, it "allows shippers to have visibility of their product from Point A to Point B," Chet Hullum, GM for Industrial Solutions at Intel, told ZDNet.

The sensors can track several variables of the package in question: location, temperature, shock, vibration, tilt, humidity, pressure, and exposure to light. They're connected in a mesh protocol network developed by Intel that allows interconnection between devices. The data is captured by a mobile gateway and transmitted via cellular networks to a cloud-based platform.

Along with Honeywell and Intel, the whole solution was developed in conjunction with the logistics companies DHL, Expeditors, and Kuehne + Nagel.

The data collected would be useful for a range of industries and use cases. For instance, data temperature or humidity is key for the food and beverage industry.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of sensitive technology can track if their equipment has been damaged and find out exactly where and how. Storing data can also come in handy for audit and compliance requirements. The data could also be used for predictive or reactive analysis of factors such as travel routes.

Third-party logistics providers like DHL are the most likely customers for the Intel and Honeywell package, Hullum said. They've also seen a strong response so far from shippers in key segments include food and beverage. Meanwhile, Amazon's overwhelming e-commerce presence has raised the stakes when it comes to fast and efficient shipping.

While Honeywell has experience providing logistics support, Intel has in recent years cultivated its IoT segment -- along with other business segments -- as it shifts its focus from PCs. The technology Intel's developed in that effort, such as RealSense technology, can naturally apply to logistics and shipping, Hullum said.

"It's about taking Intel technology and moving it into these spaces and partnering with the ecosystem," he said, "with folks like Honeywell that have a legacy of supplying certain products and who will allow Intel be part of that solution."

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