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Beyond Speed: the Promising Implications of 5G for the Logistics Industry

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Global 5G adoption is set to hit 1 billion this year, with connections rapidly growing over the past few months. For the stakeholders in the logistics industry, 5G technology represents a fresh hope to bury the long-lasting challenges that the industry has endured. However, 5G has a lot more to offer than just lower latencies and faster speeds.

The impact of 5G on the logistics industry is significant. It is expected to make the industry safer and more efficient.

The potential for the logistics industry is extensive; 5G in logistics can enable better decision-making, risk mitigation, and autonomous shipping. These developments pave the way for further advancements, ultimately transforming the logistics landscape. As digitized supply chains shape modern business practices, the logistics sector must adapt to meet current demands.

Minimize Supply Chain Risks

Innovative technologies are poised to make a significant difference in the complex logistics industry. This is particularly true for supply chain visibility, a top concern for logistics professionals as they grapple with ensuring the safe and secure transportation of goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue, with only 6% of companies reporting complete supply chain visibility.

5G networks, with their higher bandwidth and speeds, will simplify global shipment tracking and real-time inventory monitoring using IoT devices. This will enable logistics companies to provide detailed delivery updates and address customer inquiries more expeditiously.

Additionally, 5G will provide the network foundation for more efficient IoT operations. By 2026, the 5G IoT market is projected to reach a value of $40 billion.

The high bandwidth, low latency, and low-energy requirements of 5G networks mean that it can support more connected devices in better ways than before. Overall, 5G will allow for simultaneous tracking of multiple parameters and facilitate more accessible and cost-effective solutions.

Autonomous Trucks

Road freight transport, predominantly by trucks, accounted for over 75% of inland freight transport in 2019. 5G is poised to revolutionize road freight, transitioning from labor-intensive processes to a lean and efficient operation.

The introduction of autonomous trucks on public roads will be a game-changer for the logistics industry, leading to reduced transit times, human resource costs, and vehicle expenses, resulting in substantial savings for businesses. This development will particularly benefit companies transporting heavy-duty goods, ensuring affordable shipping for large machinery and vehicles.

Although widespread use of fully autonomous trucks is still in the future, significant work is required to address safety concerns before they can operate on public roads. Nonetheless, 5G will be crucial for this progress as it provides the extremely low latency needed for autonomous vehicles to make split-second decisions.

Predictive Decision-Making

Predictive decision-making plays a crucial role in logistics, where decisions are often based on incomplete information about present and future conditions. For instance, a predictive solution might recommend route adjustments to minimize travel time or suggest early delivery to avoid potential supply chain disruptions caused by weather or other factors.

As data analytics is a fundamental driver of 5G adoption, the increased data volume generated is expected to enhance decision-making by providing faster access to a greater depth of information.

Within the logistics industry, 5G will facilitate the use of more connected devices and sensors for predictive decision-making. This will lead to improved inventory management, cost reductions, and heightened customer satisfaction.

Advanced 5G technology will improve data collection from vehicle or container sensors, incorporating traffic congestion, weather conditions, temperature, humidity levels, and various shipping conditions. This data, along with geolocation information, can be used to predict potential transport route issues.

Conclusion

The numerous advantages of 5G and the potential for higher bandwidth will unlock new technologies in the Internet of Things, autonomous driving, data analytics, and more. As it is still in its infancy, the real challenge lies in making the most of 5G’s potential.

With the promising prospects that 5G holds, it is clear that its expansion could be a boon for logistics companies worldwide. 5G will create new and unique business opportunities for logistics firms and enhance collaboration between suppliers and customers.

Image Credit: Provided by Author; from ADMC from Pixabay; Thank you!

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