5G in Supply Chain: Revolutionising or Tampering?

5G Logistics

India has recently rolled out 5G – the fifth generation – of wireless cellular networks. Like its 4 previous generations, 5G which is a telecom technology, seeks to bring a new level of connectivity and is likely to bring economic growth by exponentially increasing its productivity and efficiency. Starting by working alongside 4G, 5G will eventually replace it entirely.

This new generation of wireless cellular networks has been a debatable topic among netizens, even before it was launched, considering the concerns surrounding cyber security.

The network itself results in security worries, growing the risks of hacking. It can result to difficulty in real-time security monitoring, network breaches, and device-specific IoT-targeted attacks. However, while concerns persist, the 5G technology is bring said to open up a plethora of opportunities across a wide spectrum of sectors.

One such sector likely to drive innovation and operational excellence by leveraging 5G technology is Supply Chain and Logistics. As supply chains give more importance to responsiveness by adopting automation to enable faster and more efficient operations, the 5G -100 times faster than 4G is bringing further technological advantage to enable supply chain management to be more automated.

Taking efficiency and accuracy up a notch

The enhanced wireless network will facilitate personalisation and AR/VR applications in both industrial and consumer spaces. A supply chain network can utilize these enhanced technology adaptions to make communication in both the direction of the supply chain faster and more accurate.

Advancing Abilities

5G will enable high-speed machine-to-machine communication, enabling communication in the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and making the supply chain a smart chain ecosystem.

A digital supply chain that includes everything smart – warehouses, inventory management, distribution, production system, even homes & cities, can become a reality with 5G.

5G will significantly enhance the end-to-end tracking of goods, route optimization, remote maintenance through digital twin technology, production monitoring, shop-floor reconfiguration, layout changes, and asset data in real-time.

Low Latency Communication

Automated surgery as well as automated vehicle movements, both of which need faster decision-making, will be enabled by 5G technology. 5G would be the triggering point for supply chain innovation as it will bring a leap in technological advancement.

In current times, one-side application advancements are taking place in AI, Virtual Reality, AR, Blockchain applications, and big data collected from business areas. Supply chain responses with 5G will become efficient and fast, will enable the best demand analysis and eliminate all types of wastage in the system.

Use Case in AI/ML

5G will make navigating the last mile deliveries with autonomous drones and vehicles easy, and bring about the evolution and expansion of remote operation of forklifts and pick-up devices. Inter-equipment communications will allow robots and other automated machinery to optimize routing around a warehouse. With autonomous MHEs, accidents will be avoided, keeping workplaces safer.

5G tech will make managing logistics operations efficiently in multiple shifts seamless, and open new opportunities for remote management of warehouses and vehicles through augmented and virtual reality.

5G which is a massive step forward will enhance the operation and bring in efficiency, and will definitely require extra attentive security to avoid any cyber risks. Companies which are eager to use the new faster technology to enhance automation and in turn operations will require to be well prepared with device updates, anti-virus solutions, and efficient, real-time management to utilize the technology without any frown lines.  

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