How 5G Will Impact the Logistics Industry

Whether the estimated $4.2 billion infrastructure revenues from 5G is reached by the end of 2020 or not. 5G remains on course to be the next big thing in telecommunications. Looking beyond the immediate challenges  adoption may actually be accelerated by our increased need for internet-enabled services.

In the world of transportation and logistics, for example, 5G and IoT are expected to make a huge impact. The use of 5G and its related technologies is expected to transform nearly every aspect of the logistics industry, from retail logistics tracking to maximizing the speed of data transfers. In this article, we explore the impact of 5G in the logistics industry looking at more practical issues that the sector is hungry to solve.

Better Location Tracking and Route Mapping

The rolling out of 5G service and IoT tracking will allow logistics companies to have more efficient tracking capabilities, expanding coverage in areas that were previously “dead zones” on GPS systems. This improved geo-location technology will optimize the visibility of valuable cargo, providing better insight for delays and other unforeseen circumstances.

Furthermore, 5G will improve the way logistics companies map out their routes, helping drivers find the most efficient and timely routes for quicker delivery times. Again, rural areas and other previous “dead zones” are now factored into the equation, which helps find the quickest and most efficient routes for delivery.

In the event that the route goes through a busy urban area, 5G will help prevent strains in the network. Ultimately, this will lead to quicker and more timely deliveries overall, with more updates to let you know about the current status of your transported goods.

Businesses that are already adopting mobile technology in their processes are at an advantage and will be ready to hit the ground running.

Improved Repair and Communication Capabilities with 5G

Enhanced virtual reality (VR) and other technologies will become widely available with the implementation of 5G, supporting virtual backup assistance for on-the-road logistics cargo. This means improved remote roadside assistance and decreased downtimes across the board.

Plus, with technology such as augmented reality (AR), logistics vehicles will be able to provide improved recognition for delivery points, ultimately speeding up delivery times while enhancing the safety of the drivers as well.

Decreased Downtimes for In-Transit Logistics Vehicles

With 5G updates as well as AR and VR technology rollouts, any issues with the mechanics of logistics vehicles can be addressed remotely. This will decrease downtimes for in-transit vehicles and optimize delivery dates for customers.

Better Inventory Tracking for Decreased Theft and Loss

Theft is a big problem in the logistics industry, with overall losses surpassing $20 million in a single quarter. As logistics companies continue to fight this problem, 5G presents the opportunity for tagging and tracking in ways we haven’t seen before.

5G will provide inexpensive sensors for improved single-item tracking, as well as sensors that will send immediate alerts when a truck’s load becomes lighter. This will allow real-time inventory tracking for fewer losses than ever.

Long-Term Impacts of 5G on the Logistics Industry

Ultimately, 5G will allow quicker transfers of data for real-time updates on locations, inventory, and vehicle functions in the logistics industry. This increased visibility will undoubtedly change the logistics industry for the better, allowing you to have a better idea of the status of shipments from start to finish.

SmartConsign is ready to take on 5G and use it to your advantage. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve productivity.

5G, Delivery and Me

“In the near future the tech [5G] will enable city-scale networks and city-scale spatial computing. Not just the IoT as it relates to your office and home environment but a city where devices and sensors and all sorts of things are connected.” Amy Webb, Future Today Institute founder and quantitative futurist.

Just as we’ve got our heads more or less around the Internet of Things thing (who didn’t get an Alexa for Christmas?) – that’s smart fridges, smart appliances, smart cars, etc, etc – along comes 5G. For fun, let’s call 5G delivery ‘The G that Connects Them All’ since 5G connects all the smart things to each other. And the point of having 5G to connect the IoT and have smart machines talking to each other? So the world and perhaps time itself can speed up even more.

What is it, really?

Without the glib hyperbole, what exactly is 5G? “Fifth generation” networks are the latest advancement in wireless internet. 5G uses millimetre waves which are extremely high frequency to transfer data faster. Data, as we now know all too well (just look at the state data has got us in already: read our article Strong & Stable Delivery for your Post-Brexit Business) is king in today’s world. Getting data from A-B faster translates as getting real things from A-B faster. That’s just the way the world works now. 5G and the IoT will greatly improve speed and accuracy. Currently most parcels spend the majority of their time in dead-zones and are only logged at point of collection and delivery, but 5G delivery allows for real-time tracking of parcels without any human input – which means a reduction in the potential for human error. Your customers will soon be able to follow their deliveries from purchase to their front door at every stage of the journey.

“Recent developments, such as just-in-time deliveries, which were once only accessible to a select few, could become mainstream as 5G and IoT devices make tracking deliveries possible in real time.”

It’s been said that the sector most likely to benefit from 5G delivery tech is the logistics sector – and that sounds about right to us given that the sector supports around 56,000 businesses and employs 8% of the UK’s workforce. The challenge, for businesses big and small, is going to be to ensure that they are using smart devices wherever possible and that those smart devices are talking to each other in an optimal way – this means using the best logistics software available. The software provider must offer a fully mobile service, which is why we are excited to be launching the SmartConsign app. In a world where 5G and the IoT work at a speed and efficiency that will provide the best service for our customers – the SmartConsign app ensures that the humans keep up with the machines.

In our opinion the real impact of the change to 5G will be courier drivers systems: real-time information vs information polled hourly along with faster information and higher bandwidths will mean that drivers can be updated by or receive updates from HQ faster and with more details. For instance with providing immediate route changes.

For SmartConsign, it’s not that we gain any new features as such it’s more that there will be fewer bottlenecks in the data, more bandwidth means we transmit more information faster and have the ability to present it in a humanised-friendly manner – which is how we like it.

We’re on it! The SmartConsign app is coming very soon. Sign up here so we can notify you when we launch.