Every day, 5G adoption is increasing around the world. This breakthrough mobile communications technology offers data speeds a hundred times faster than 4G, with 99.999% network availability and one millisecond latency. What 5G can offer the transportation and logistics industry is nothing less than revolutionary, and it will radically transform not only how items are moved from one place to another, but even how they will be produced.
Unprecedented Coverage and Visibility: 5G will provide unprecedented end-to-end connectivity to people and things, in urban and rural areas. This will open up new types of interactions, even between facilities such as warehouses, factories, and transportation centers. It will also enable manufacturing and transportation processes to gain new visibility.
Smarter Inventory in Smart Warehouses: The production, collection, and delivery of goods will be completely streamlined by 5G, with warehouse inventories being intelligently monitored and routed according to 5G-enabled real-time asset monitoring and tracking of performance metrics to maximize warehouse utilization efficiency.
Next Generation Warehouse Management: Numerous IoT sensors will track warehouse assets and equipment such as forklifts, cargo vehicles, staff, and even building status, so automated management algorithms can optimize the most efficient usage. Incoming deliveries can be automatically scanned, and transport vehicles can be arranged even before packages are unloaded.
End-to-end Order Processing: Automated systems using 5G to track stock levels at retailers can trigger automatic re-ordering across the entire supply chain. If product is needed from warehouses, transportation can be optimized by consolidating small packages together for higher logistics efficiency.
Staff Safety and Security: With 5G and facial recognition, warehouses can track staff presence and movements, ensuring worker safety and even automatically alerting workers if they are in a hazardous area, or not in the correct location. Unauthorized strangers can be quickly detected, and Number Plate Identification can automatically monitor vehicles.
Traditionally, lack of visibility and poor logistics arrangements have been major weak points and sources of revenue loss across the supply chain. 5G can help solve these issues.
Eliminate Transport Black Holes: 5G’s improved coverage will enhance real-time connectivity, providing improved geolocation especially in remote areas to eliminate logistics “black holes,” or areas of little or no information on the current location and status of a vehicle, and its shipment.
Improved Vehicle Road Safety: Vehicles can be equipped with more sophisticated cameras, radars, and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors to help drivers operate safer, and unusual weather or emergency conditions experienced by one vehicle can also be relayed to the command center for real-time rerouting of the entire fleet.
More Efficient Vehicle Maintenance and Repair: Proactive and predictive maintenance can help transport fleets reduce vehicle downtime and avoid problems before they occur. With 5G, more data can be streamed, more reliable and faster, enabling Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tools that assist drivers with road-side repairs to get vehicles moving again, minimizing package delivery delays.
Delivery Drones: Drones can be used to disrupt the “last 100 meters” process (which is often more than half the overall delivery cost). Trucks can arrive at destinations, and multiple drones will then fetch and deliver individual packages at unprecedented speed and efficiency.
Efficient Asset Performance Management and Tracking: 5G can track packages down to the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) level to provide end-to-end visibility. Financial losses can be minimized and even eliminated, from missing cargo, misplaced containers, counterfeiting, smuggling, and theft (IoT devices can detect a truck's change of weight in real-time).
Advanced and Automated Logistics Management: Transportation network managers will leverage all the powerful 5G features to coordinate a highly efficient logistics system. In fact, many decisions will be fully automated because real-time sensors everywhere will provide the latest information for Artificial Intelligence analytics to make optimal decisions.
Connecting for 5G Connectivity
As can be seen, 5G promises a truly transformational era for the transportation and logistics industry, enabling it to reduce processing inefficiencies, avoid bottlenecks, and mitigate risks. Yet, it is important to have a high performance, robust, and versatile private enterprise network to support the massive connections and huge data volumes of IoT devices linked via 5G, across management offices, factories, warehouses, and large fleets of vehicles. The importance of this foundational enterprise infrastructure must not be underestimated, and due diligence must be taken to ensure its network security, operational availability, scalability, and coverage, for any transportation and logistics seeking to capitalize on the powerful advantages 5G brings. To learn about how CITIC Telecom CPC’s extensive experience and solutions assist transportation and logistics industry transformation, simply contact us.
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