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.
There’s no question that 5G will significantly affect the logistics industry, but it’s a matter of what that effect is. There’s reason to believe that 5G will make the logistics industry safer, and more efficient.
The scope of possibility for the logistics industry is vast; 5G in logistics can enable better decision-making, risk mitigation, and autonomous shipping. All these lay the ground for even further advancements, ultimately revolutionizing how we do logistics today. As the new digitized supply chains define how we do business, the logistics aspect must reinvent itself to meet modern demands.
Minimize Supply Chain Risks
With its high level of complexity in the logistics industry, innovative technologies can make a significant difference. This is especially true for supply chain visibility, one of the top concerns for logistics professionals today as they battle the perennial challenge of ensuring safe and secure transportation of goods.
The COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem, as only 6% of companies now report complete supply chain visibility.
Providing more bandwidth and higher speeds, 5G networks will make it much easier for people and companies worldwide to track their shipments and monitor their inventory in real-time using IoT devices.
With so much information available about the location, condition, and status of every parcel or shipment at any given time, logistics companies can provide detailed updates on delivery progress and deal with customer queries faster and more effectively.
On its part, 5G will provide the network foundation that makes IoT work more efficiently. By 2026, the 5G IoT market is expected to be valued at a massive $40 billion.
The high bandwidth, low latency, low-energy requirements of 5G networks mean that more connected devices can be supported in better ways than before. In general, 5G will make it possible to track several parameters at once and allow for more accessible and more cost-efficient solutions.
Trucking is one of the most important aspects of shipping. As of 2019, road freight transport (mainly by trucks) amounted to over 75% of inland freight transport. 5G is set to revolutionize how road freight is done, marking the shift from labor-intensive processes to a lean and efficient operation.
The advent of autonomous trucks on public roads will be a game-changer for the logistics industry. It will significantly reduce transit times, human resources, and vehicle costs, resulting in significant cost savings for businesses. It will mainly be a massive boost for companies transporting heavy-duty goods, ensuring cheap car shipping and large machines.
However, fully autonomous trucks that require are still some way off regular use. In addition, a lot of work needs to be done on safety before they can be used on public roads. Nevertheless, it’s clear that 5G will be an essential part of this development because it can provide the extremely low latency required for autonomous vehicles to make split-second decisions.
Predictive decision-making is critical in logistics, where decisions are often based on imperfect information about the present and future conditions. For example, a predictive solution might suggest that delivery routes should be adjusted to minimize travel time or that goods should be delivered earlier to avoid potential supply chain disruptions caused by weather or other factors.
Since data analytics is a crucial enabler of 5G adoption, as the amount of data generated increases, we expect 5G networks to help us make better decisions through faster access to more information.
Applied to the logistics industry, 5G will allow for more connected devices and sensors to be used in predictive decision-making within logistics. This will improve inventory management, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.
The advanced 5G technology would enhance recording data from sensors placed on vehicles or containers, including traffic congestion, weather conditions, temperature, humidity levels, and various shipping conditions. This data can then be used with geolocation information to predict issues that might affect transport routes.
The multitude of advantages associated with 5G and the prospect of higher bandwidths will open up technologies in the Internet of Things, autonomous driving, data analytics, and more. And since it’s only just getting started, the real question is how to make the most of 5Gs potential.
With all the promises 5G has in store, there’s no doubt that it could be a dream come true for logistics companies globally as its adoption expands.
5G will bring new and unique business opportunities to logistics companies and improve collaboration between suppliers and customers.
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