The Development of the Worlds Largest IoT Gateway Network
Dallas (June 19th, 2024)
The Development of the Worlds Largest IoT Gateway Network

OnAsset was founded in 2004 with the sole purpose of developing a global real time tracking device. While the technology was a huge success, we ran into a few hurdles that took time to clear. The first hurdle was creating the first Personal Electronic Device (PED) that was approved for air transport. The second was educating the market about real time visibility. Finally, the third-and the focus of today’s blog post-was obtaining enough market feedback to understand real time visibility was not necessary across all shipments.


While the benefits of real time visibility are abundantly clear, there is a distinct cost/benefit analysis that needs to be considered before choosing a real time device or a logging device. This cost/benefit analysis is not fixed across all companies or stakeholders. Rather, the analysis is dynamic based on the organization’s applications and goals. For example, a drug manufacturer may be more focused on temperature lane analysis versus a 3PL who may be more concerned about the real time location of the shipment.


We recognized the need for a solutions provider to offer a technology suite that could meet the business requirements of all stakeholders within the life sciences supply chain. However, after years of witnessing the success of our customers deploying real time, we knew there had to be a better way of obtaining temperature data than antiquated USB passive loggers.


There is a myriad of issues that persist in the deployment of USB loggers. They require constant human intervention to retrieve and download the data for each shipment. The constant human intervention for each shipment results in loss of labor productivity and dramatic increases in labor costs. The shipment must be kept in costly controlled temperature storage areas waiting on data download and verification, which often involves waiting for extended times on personnel that are offsite. And the physical retrieval of the USB logger to download the data necessitates opening the shipment payload, which can itself cause an excursion event. We thought surely there is a better way.


At the time, the emergence of consumer Bluetooth products provided a roadmap to how we could develop a logging solution that would eliminate these costs and extra labor steps. The SENTRY would stand in as a fixed Gateway while our newly developed Sentinel tag would serve as the data logger. We added key additions to the foundational technology such as increased range to allow the equipment to work at distances much longer than consumer grade Bluetooth devices. It was important to capture the cost savings of a shipment with a Sentinel arriving at destination facility and connecting with the SENTRY gateway that could be hundreds of meters away. Having the data well before the shipment was received in, provided our customers with tremendous value and was the start of what we call real time some of the time.


Our customers began to deploy fixed gateways at key milestones within their supply chain. As sentinel tagged shipments passed through those locations, data would automatically offload for their review. The real time some of the time concept began to gain traction. It was important for OnAsset to continue to push the boundaries on how we could enhance this concept. What could we do to deliver more value to our customers? If we enabled automated data retrieval with no physical intervention of the shipment to pull out and download the temperature records, could our customers avoid the extra time and storage costs they were incurring with their legacy processes?


Working with a variety of customers, including our decade long strategic partnership with Unilode Aviation Solutions who operates the worlds largest fleet of aviation ULDs and pallets, we have been able to jointly build the world’s largest deployment of IOT gateways dedicated to supply chain visibility. This network covers all major airports around the world, extending to freight forwarding warehouses and key warehousing facilities. With this network being open for customer use, we offer our customers and partners a solution that is nearly real time at significant cost savings.


Our unique roots in aviation compliance, coupled with our two decades of experience deploying IOT devices worldwide, combined with a unique vision shared with our forward thinking customers, has yielded this solution. As we look at the landscape of evolving technologies, we are in a position to continue innovating and delivering flexibility and continuous improvement to support our shared vision of a cohesive and cost effective global network of connected devices and services. We are excited to collaborate with partners and customers alike who are interested in accessing our network!