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Electrical Connectivity for GPS and General Logistics Systems (GLS)

Ensure Reliability And Resiliency In Any Environment

There’s no denying the innovation that global positioning systems (GPS) and general logistics systems (GLS) are cultivating. GPS has gone from a U.S. Department of Defense project to our sole means of navigation every time we get into our car. And without GLS, you probably would not get any of the products you order online.



Accurate location tracking

Accurate location tracking

Today's GPS and GLS systems are highly accurate, capable of pinpointing exact locations for more powerful navigation and tracking.  

Navigation assistance

GPS systems make it easy for drivers to make it to their destination for faster delivery of packages and services. They're now being used in conjunction with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips for tracking right up to the last mile. 


Smaller and more powerful

GPS and GLS devices are becoming smaller and more powerful, making them more widely adopted by a variety of industries ranging from logistics to agriculture. 

Asset tracking

GPS combined with RFID creates smarter asset tracking for better maintenance and inventory management. 

GPS/GLS Connectivity Challenges

To ensure the reliability of GPS and general logistics systems, electrical connectivity is critical. But it’s not without challenges. 

General logistics systems need small labels and unique 2D barcodes, plus a sophisticated software system. From antenna cables to power connectors, GPS systems are extremely dependent on them. In short, GPS and GLS tracking need safe, reliable connectors to function. 

For logistics companies who may need a connector for a global positioning system or a general logistics system, there are many things to consider, especially when designing cables and connectors for harsh or rugged environments and applications.

Shielding for RFI Interference

Any device that contains electronic circuitry is susceptible to electromagnetic interference. We’ve already alluded to hackers easily making a delivery disappear or send fake satellite signals to sidestep regulations. But if your GPS or GLS network is equipped with shielded cables and connectors, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing they’re designed to resist electromagnetic interference.

Overmolding for harsh environments

Shielded cables and connectors can withstand the harshest environments. Think about a cargo ship full of merchandise that needs to be tracked. That ship and each parcel it carries are exposed to saltwater and ocean air. These elementst alone eat away at contacts and other metal components; then consider rain, heat, UV exposure and other outdoor elements that put stress on cable jacketing and junctions. Your global positioning systems and general logistics systems must be able to endure these harsh conditions. 

This is where a product like the i8 Snaplock proves its value. Waterproof, cost-effective and customizable, the i8 connector series features thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overmolding and a master-engineered design that ensures the cable can hold its properties well even in the harshest conditions. Its durable design also makes it an ideal for GPS/GLS applications, such as transportation, where vibration, strain and other factors tend to shorten the lifespan of less-rugged connectors.  


System technicians have seen instances where hackers have used smart bulbs to access home or office networks. System reliability can also be unpredictable due to high traffic, poor signal, or outdated firmware.

Environmental Factors

The environment also plays a role in the lifespan and dependability of connected lighting systems. Outdoor systems require specialized connectors and cables that can withstand the elements. Likewise, industrial systems must be impervious to dust, chemical exposure, high temperatures, and other factors specific to a factory or manufacturing environment. 

This is where a higher upfront cost pays off. Rather than piece together off-the-shelf solutions, working with a reputable cable and connector manufacturer allows technicians to design connected lighting solutions that are specific to an application and its environment. 

Electromagnetic interference (EMI)

Electromagnetic interference from radio signals and other sources can cause electronic equipment to malfunction. Using shielded cable and custom cable assemblies can minimize the effects of EMI. 

Applications That Use General Logistics Systems and GPS

No industry relies on GLS and GPS applications like trucking and transportation. Consider UPS, which runs nearly 80,000 vehicles, each with 200 sensors on board to collect data.

These sensors send information on everything, from how much air is in the tires and how much gas is in the tank to each truck’s real-time location. 

This perfect blend of GPS and GLS could not happen without the thousands of electrical connectors that help transfer data. Not only are they helping out in the field, but in the office, too: all that information is stored on computer servers and analyzed for better decision-making.

Asset Tracking and Monitoring

Asset tracking refers to the method a company chooses to keep track of their merchandise. This can be done in several ways, including:

  • Barcode labels
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID)

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Another example of GLS working in tandem with GPS for asset tracking and monitoring is integrated 3PL services. 
This is vital, as it opens up another realm of companies that need to protect their processes with products like shielded cables for all the companies they serve. Any business shipping more than 100 orders per month or offering things like expedited shipping to their customers, from small retailers to delivery service providers, is a good candidate for and can benefit from investing in 3PL. 

Even the smallest companies have a lot to track. Having the right equipment is essential.

Workflow in Hospitality

In hospitality, a hotel connected lighting system can indicate to staff when guests have checked out or left their rooms. With this information, staff can proactively manage cleaning services and streamline and improve the efficiency of room turnover. 

Controlled Environment Agriculture

Global food demand is expected to increase by nearly 70% by 2050 – giving rise (out of sheer necessity) to a new era of agriculture. Insufficient land, droughts, and climate change continuously threaten food production. LED connected lighting systems are playing an integral role in the development of new farming practices that no longer rely on mother nature for crop output. These systems use photo-synthetically active radiation (characterized as a wavelength useful for horticulture) to increase the output of controlled environment farming. While researchers admit that indoor farming will never fully outpace traditional farming, it does add another layer of production impervious to current industry challenges.

For agriculture technology, check out iCONN’s i12 plastic connector series. The i12 series offers superior ingress protection from moisture and dust and larger wire gauges or bundles while keeping costs low and assemblies lightweight.

LED Concert Lighting

When you’ve booked a multi-million dollar performer, you can’t afford interference with audio or video signals. iCONN has worked closely with engineers who provide concert lighting and video solutions to avoid electromagnetic interference. 

Start designing your GPS/GLS solution today.

The best way to ensure that your GPS and general logistics systems will work as they’re supposed to is to partner with a manufacturer like iCONN Systems that specializes in electrical connectors. We understand the trends and issues facing your industry and can customize cables and connectors to fit your specific needs, develop new products and re-engineer some you’re already using. 
You can use our configuration tool to design connector solutions specific to your needs and  reach to us when you're ready to talk about a more customized solution.