With growing competition in the market space and the changing needs of customers, requirements of businesses vary with every passing day. As a result, companies are working towards making smarter decisions by predicting, sensing, and responding to current market conditions. Advanced solutions such as Real-time Location Systems (RTLS) are business enhancement systems to continuously monitor and track assets and tools for various industries, such as transportation and logistics, and manufacturing. Thus, real-time location systems can be defined as location tracking systems that utilize wireless technologies to identify the exact position of assets or personnel within the facility. Proper monitoring assures reduction in wastage, labour costs, and lead time to achieve quick returns on investments.
The Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) Market by Product can be divided into:
The Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) Market by Technology can be divided into:
The Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) Market by Industry Vertical can be divided into:
Similar to other verticals, the need for tracking data in transport and logistics is critical considering that the goods are always in transit. Apart from this, it imparts transparency through the real-time capturing of data (real-time key performance indices), thereby increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of shrinkage. One of the major drivers for this market is the continuous need for the mandatory monitoring of goods at immigration depots, containers in ports, and cross-docking points. With increasing globalization, there is a surge in trade and commerce activities worldwide. Furthermore, the need to cater to the global population has escalated exponentially in the past decade with maritime ports throughout the world dealing with operational issues, such as high cargo volumes, data management, tracking containers, and security checks.
Despite restructuring their overall business processes and easing out the complexity in high-level integration of their backend systems, RTLS enterprises face the problem of lack of awareness among people. The fact that they are still dependent on bar codes and passive RFIDs calls for the implementation of uniform standards for easy integration with backend systems.
The transportation and logistics vertical of the RTLS market generated approximately $92.6 million in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.21 percent over the next 5 years.
According to the market’s technology-based segmentation, Wi-Fi-based RTLS have a major advantage over other proprietary technologies, such as UWB and Zigbee, as it utilizes the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure of an enterprise resulting in a lot of time and cost savings. Wi-Fi and active RFID-based solutions are the major market shareholders in the global RTLS logistics market; both these technologies hold a promising future. However, due to the high accuracy and precision offered by emerging technologies such as UWB and Zigbee, they are projected to be the fastest-growing technologies with tremendous growth potential over Wi-Fi and other traditional technologies.
The top 5 companies in the RTLS market in terms of revenue generated are Ekahau Inc. (US); Ubisense Group Plc (US); CenTrak Inc. (US); Zebra Technologies (US); and Stanley, Black, and Decker Inc. (US). These account for nearly 42.6 percent of the total market.
Geographically, North America accounts for the highest market share closely followed by Europe and the Middle East with several RTLS deployments in a row. One of the recent deployments includes an RTLS contract worth $543 million signed by HP Enterprise Services with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to procure a management system to assist in the automation and improvement of operations and veteran healthcare services.
A leading US shoe retailer, Lord and Taylor, used RFID to cut inventory labor by 75%. As a result, they saw an increase of more than 1.5% increase in sales. Static scanners were used on the shop floor to provide a real-time view, so that there was no need to continuously monitor inventory in the warehouses.
The RTLS market in Asia-Pacific is drawing customers due to its highly precise location tracking systems over existing ones. With more installations deployed in this region and high infrastructure growth potential, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness strong growth, thus enabling high revenue gains and lower capital expenditure costs.
With digitalization, the RTLS market is adapting to emerging imperatives such as agility, customer centricity, and most importantly, the need to constantly innovate. Digital innovation is enabling the transformation of the current logistics scenario into a new paradigm called “Logistics 4.0”.
This is based on the 4 key trends:
1. Data automation and transparency
2. New methods of physical transportation
3. Digital platforms
4. New production methods
In addition, the deployment of drones in the delivery of assets can enhance the customer experience and prove to be a major disruption in 6 years.
The building blocks for Logistics 4.0 are:
The convergence of technologies helps in enhancing execution results with the help of bidirectional communication and management support, thus reducing legal penalties, improving incident avoidance, and achieving overall compliance.
To enhance their market position, companies are looking for key partnerships, agreements, and product launches. This is likely to help in utilizing a wide distribution network and improving product sales. Thus, the winners will be the ones who are able to turn current transformations into opportunities, based on their ability to anticipate key innovation capabilities and build a more perceptive aptitude for transformation.