• The future is here, and the future is fast. 5G networks are spreading around the world, increasing efficiency and efficacy of industries everywhere. Within the logistics industry, 5G will have particularly positive and powerful effects. With logistics management being a primary factor in a business's operations, it has a direct impact on its bottom line. Supporting this branch of the business means trickle down benefits for the entire business and supply chain.

    • What is 5G?

      5G is simply the next step in mobile technology. It is the fifth generation of cellular networking and is significantly faster than the current networks being used, with speeds ranging from 50Mbit/s to over a gigabit/s. 5G allows for large chunks of data to be collected and analysed, all in real time meaning that 5G will prove incredibly useful for all users, personal or commercial. Within logistics, this speed will allow an increase in IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) uses that are currently handicapped by today's 4G speeds and latency. 

      5G has been subject to baseless conspiracy theories since it's announcement. As with any new technology, however, due diligence has been carried out and 5G-related Standards are helping to shape the safety, quality and performance of this technology. For example, ATIS 1000077 : 2017 includes draft security-related recommendations intended for 5G Standards development activities.

      • 1. Minimization of supply chain risks

        Thanks to the speed, latency, and coverage 5G will bring, the logistics industry will be afforded a new level of transparency within their supply chain. Tracking already exists within logistics today, but is limited by the technology it uses. For example, individuals are able to track parcels through the post service as they are scanned into their next location during transport. However gaining that same level of visibility for international logistics across various supply chains has remained a challenge due to the magnitude and diversity of supply and delivery systems. 

        By implementing internet-connected tracking devices, goods may be monitored in real-time, and will be able to avoid 'black holes' within tracking journeys. With the technology now available to all, the IoT industry will continue to provide smarter options for tracking. These tracking devices may use and report on a number of metrics, including location, temperature, light, shock, and humidity to guarantee the goods are not mishandled during shipping. By monitoring these metrics, risks within supply chains can be minimized and mitigated. 

        2. Autonomous vehicles

        Autonomous vehicles require and generate an immense amount of data. The data that is needed to perfectly control or trouble-shoot vehicles hundreds of kilometres away needs to be real-time. With 5G's near-instantaneous feedback, logistics will see the rise of autonomous vehicles delivering goods across supply chains. From trucks forming 'platoons' that travel together (therefore having only the lead truck cut the air for the rest of the trucks to increase fuel efficiency) to pizza delivery cars, 5G will bring with it a plethora of autonomous vehicles to make logistics safer, faster, and more efficient. 

        3. Augmented Reality 

        As the use of sophisticated augmented reality (such as vision picking) gain popularity, 5G will help this technology expand to further uses across logistics. Augmented reality means expanding physical reality by adding layers of computer-generated information to the real environment in real-time. This means that objects in reality are enriched with additional and valuable information. This technology has the ability to revolutionize business, but is still held back by the technology of today. With 5G's instant speeds and reliability, augmented reality logistics solutions will rise. 

        A safer future

        With 5G as the backbone of increasingly efficient and reliable systems, logistics and consumers will see a new age of transparency. Thanks to fast, high-bandwidth connections supporting smart transport systems, cameras, monitors, sensors and tracking devices, it will present new abilities to form a comprehensive and integrated system. This digitalization and use of 5G will create a more efficient, more effective, and more secure future of logistics.

        • Technology shaping the logistics industry

          How Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and 3D manufacturing are changing the industry

        • The importance of a secure supply chain

          Learn about supply chain risk management and the need to prioritize it in your business

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