The 5G mobile broadband standard “promises to transform” the logistics industry by allowing more data to be transferred more quickly over networks, according to the 2019 State of Logistics report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), A.T. Kearney and Penske.
5G will be indispensable for helping to propel autonomous vehicles, large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) and drones, the report said. Other logistics-specific applications like fleet management and predictive maintenance will benefit from this standard and potentially drive greater efficiencies in the supply chain.
Within the next three years, the applications for 5G will mostly be in areas like IoT and augmented reality (AR). This would include the ability to conduct remote quality inspections and diagnostics, handle more aspects of planning and data transfer in a cloud environment, along with real-time location and video access for supply chain partners, the report said.
Large asset-based carriers like Maersk or Ryder will likely see the most immediate benefit of 5G as it will allow them to track assets in real time and “make decisions informed by detailed data not accessible before,” the report said.
5G will allow for “seamless execution and unassisted operations will transform the business economics fundamentally in the industry in ways that will generate higher margins and better service,” Michael Zimmerman, a partner at A.T. Kearney and an author of the report, said at release of the report earlier this week.