CalAmp and Pallet Alliance Partner to Provide IoT-Enabled Wood Pallets

CalAmp iOn Tags, Gateways and CalAmp Telematics Cloud Provide Granular Environmental Supply Chain Visibility and Risk Mitigation

IoT wood palletsIRVINE, CA & CARRBORO, NC – CalAmp, a global technology solutions provider, is partnering with Pallet Alliance, a provider of holistic pallet management programs. This arrangement allows multi-site manufacturing companies to leverage IntelliPallet™, a turnkey, IoT-enabled platform and supply chain managed service integrated with wooden pallets. Employing CalAmp iOn Tags™, gateways and the CalAmp Telematics Cloud (CTC)™, multinational enterprises challenged with managing hundreds of thousands of pallets will be able to integrate this subscriber-based telematics solution to enable more sustainable, secure and efficient tracking of shipments and assets.

By integrating CalAmp’s iOn Tags with wooden pallets, enterprises can access location and environmental data on assets in transit all over the world from the point of palletization to the final destination via a CalAmp telematics gateway and the CTC. The solution helps address blind spots, reducing the potential for theft while also minimizing spoilage as products travel across sea, land, and air.

The system has been validated by Pallet Alliance through field experience. “We began field testing more than a year ago, and have had pallets in a live pool for over a year,” explained Mike Jones, a principal at The Pallet Alliance In. (TPAI). “The approach is new to the (wood pallet) market but definitely isn’t new to us.

“As supply chains continue to modernize, customers are increasingly interested in adding efficient, cost-effective data gathering,” Jones told Western Pallet Magazine. While CalAmp is flexible regarding technology, the original IoT use case involved the use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags and wireless hubs to connect up to 60 BLE-enabled pallets at a time to the cloud.

“Not only will our iOn Tags and gateways help corporations monitor shipment departures and arrivals, but access to our CTC information dashboard will also provide environmental conditions and data analyses to ensure optimal shipment control,” said Jeff Newman, vice president of supply chain visibility solutions at CalAmp. “In today’s connected economy, there is no reason for a company not to have point-to-point traceability about the location and conditions of their valuable assets throughout the shipment process, from the first mile to the last. Smart pallets enable more efficient business operations that help maintain product quality and maximize revenue potential.”

Pallet Alliance’s success integrating CalAmp’s advanced telematics technology with wooden pallets eliminates the need to convert to alternate materials, according to TPAI. With the IntelliPallet platform service, monitoring compliance, handling, and environmental changes can be more effectively managed by making more informed decisions based on real-time supply chain insights.

“The ability to integrate end-to-end IoT connectivity with customers’ existing pallet systems will transform the logistics industry,” said Jones. “Customers can implement location and data services without abandoning their wooden pallet systems, avoiding the added expense and limitations resulting from converting to plastic or composite pallets, not to mention the other required infra-structure investments.”

“And because we work with existing pallets, it’s not necessary to make the massive investment to convert all pallets to IoT at once, or make any infrastructural changes at all,” Jones emphasized. “We can gradually feed integrated pallets into customers’ pallet operations as new pallets are required, or even outfit older pallets with integrated components. Also, part of the initial appeal was understanding that, for most applications, it isn’t really necessary to track all or even most pallets. A sample set will do just fine.”

Tyson Steffens, also a principal at TPAI, stressed that the IoT solution will also benefit users of custom sized pallets and other applications where plastic pallets may not be a good fit.