5G – Where is it taking us?

The Internet of Things and 5G – Where Is It Taking Us?

Despite the pandemic still ongoing, the world is seeing massive development and the deployment of 5G technology, with its uses set to be widespread through the logistics sector. By 2030, 5G will have changed this very business landscape as we now know it.

First of all, we need to talk about the ‘Internet Of Things’ (or abbreviated as IoT), an idea to connect devices, that was originally started way back in 1970.  A network of physical objects or people (things) that are embedded with software, sensors, and electronics, that are then linked collectively to a network that allows these objects to exchange data in an instant.  But where does this notion fit into global supply chains of the near future I hear you ask?  Allow me to explain.

Businesses rely on data, and that has always been the way, and forever that will be the case.  Logistics companies, however, handle even more data than most. For example, the use of packing lists, airway bills and even supplying our customers with proof of delivery, are but a few examples of data that we use in this sector on a day-to-day basis.  Yet, over 85 per cent of all logistics providers in 2021 feel the lack of supply chain visibility as a whole, is one of the biggest challenges remaining in the industry.  And this is where 5G can (and will) become a truly remarkable tool for us to use, once tested fully and introduced.

I mean, you know already how easy is it to track the exact location of your Just Eat driver on a Friday night these days.  You have total visibility of where he or she is at any moment, as they weave through city traffic with your chicken madras and naan bread on board, allowing you to see them approach your address – and you opening the door before they even ring your doorbell (yes, we all do it!).

But having the same level of visibility for goods in international transit remains to be a huge challenge, simply due to the scale of the delivery mission in hand.  It means that companies will have the means to build a trusted cloud network to tie all of their operations together. The potential alone for using 5G to keep every vendor and buyer on the same page, in real-time, is a potential game-changer in itself.

Smart devices including battery-operated tracking devices that can be securely attached to containers, trucks, boxes or even on the goods themselves, monitoring the location, temperature, humidity, light, shock and other key values. Electronic smart-locks also look to be on the horizon, which will be internet-enabled to deter and report acts of tampering and theft during transit.

Online retailer Ocado have been using AI and robotics in their warehousing environment for 4 years now.  Initially an experiment in 2017, robots were invented using a custom-made wireless communication system that was integrated to the company’s warehouse management system; and as a result, the robots were able to pack a 50-item order in just 5 minutes.  That is an item, in the bag, every 6 seconds!

With the invention of the 5G network, so many conspiracy theories have flooded the internet. People are spreading all these rumours about how the 5G network is harmful to our health, but none of those theories are actually proven.  In fact, the reality is completely different.  The IoT and 5G are here to transform logistics.

The future is Smart – and it is very nearly here.  Lets embrace the change.