How 5G Will Transform Logistics

 The rollout of 5G has businesses and consumers clamoring to get their hands on the technology. This advanced wireless communication system has myriad benefits including network speeds that are 20 times faster than 4G, reduced latency and less power consumption.


While 5G is not available everywhere yet, private enterprises have already begun leveraging 5G networks to revolutionize their operations. One of Italy’s largest and busiest ports, Port of Livorno, partnered with Ericsson to create an integrated 5G-based management solution network to address its biggest challenges. Under this new system, the port transitioned to unmanned ground vehicles powered by automated remote control using the cloud and distributed computing. This solution optimized and reduced vessel mooring time and increased productivity, saving the port about $2.95 million in one year. Additionally, Port of Livorno reduced its carbon emissions by more than 8 percent, improved worker safety, and enhanced its security and competitive edge.


Presently, 60 percent of supply chain leaders report they have insufficient visibility that is encumbered by end-to-end track and trace, the lack of a centralized platform and fragmented data collection. As organizations incorporate 5G into their supply chain strategy, the technology will help to alleviate many of these pain points.


Benefits of 5G in the Supply Chain

The improved speed and reliability of 5G will enable networks to be expanded and managed more effectively with built-in automation. Their ability to send and receive large amounts of data will allow alerting systems to provide more timely updates when issues occur, such as broken-down equipment or inventory shortages. Another game changer with 5G is that it uses less power to transmit data quickly, prolonging its use on battery-powered and Internet-of-Things-connected devices.


5G networks also make it possible to manage inventory and supply chains in real time. Its speed improves product retention and reduces losses, which helps organizations provide better customer service and support. Throughout the supply chain, 5G pulls data from sensors and other Internet-of-Things devices so advanced analytics can be performed that enable the tracking of inventory and the optimization of routes. These devices can also report on factors that impact the supply chain, including heat, humidity and location.


Improving Logistics with 5G Data

The enhanced speed, reduced latency and greater reliability of 5G will enable the supply chain to be more responsive, transparent and agile. With the ability to collect large volumes of data throughout the transportation process, systems can be automated and solutions can scale more easily. With this data, companies can analyze performance to determine the best routes to transport their inventory and alert drivers about potential issues that could damage the inventory they are hauling. As items are passed from warehouses to trucks, trailers, last-mile deliverers and other destinations, companies can access critical info, like temperature, humidity, orientation, speed, direction, number of stops and more.


The Future of Logistics with 5G

Once everything is connected throughout the supply chain and real-time data is constantly available, logistics can achieve total visibility, wide-scale autonomy and highly accurate predictions.


IDB Logistics and Technology Training 

The Institute for Defense and Business offers several educational programs that prepare leaders to implement the best logistics strategies and increase their critical thinking. The LOGTECH Executive program will transform your organization’s approach to technology and innovation across logistics and the supply chain. Leaders can learn new tools and techniques for leveraging new 5G technology. Similarly, the LOGTECH Advanced brings together those from the defense and government logistics community to think about the best practices that support technologies that will shape future logistical decisions. As a result, you will understand how technology can increase organizational reach, effectiveness and efficiency.


About IDB  

The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) delivers educational programs and research to teach, challenge and inspire leaders who work with and within the defense enterprise to achieve next-level results for their organization. IDB features curriculum in Logistics, Supply Chain and Life Cycle Management, Complex Industrial Leadership, Strategic Studies, Global Business and Defense Studies, Continuous Process Improvement, and Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction. Visit or contact us on our website for more information.

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