Predicted impact of 5G on transport and logistics

Delivering 5G connectivity to the transport and logistics industry could generate 280 bn of additional GVA in 2030, according to STL Partners’ research.

5GThe report, commissioned by Huawei, outlines how 5G can help the transport and logistics industry to overcome its challenges and significantly enable its future transformation.

The logistics industry has been a relative laggard when it comes to digital transformation. However, it is now facing low margins, high operating costs and increasingly stringent customer demands. 5G can drive new use cases and improvements to existing applications in the industry.

5Gs impact on transport and logistics – $280bn of benefits in 2030 – September 2020 report

The report highlights three use cases that are expected to bring significant value to the industry:

  • Real-time routing and optimisation: Sensors collect data throughout the supply chain to improve visibility and optimise processes through real-time dynamic routing and scheduling;
  • Automated last 100 yards delivery: Using drones or automated delivery vehicles for the last ‘hundred yards’ of delivery, where the delivery van acts as a mobile final distribution point;
  • Connected traffic infrastructure: Smart sensors or cameras are integrated into traffic infrastructure to collect data about oncoming traffic and trigger real-time actions such as rerouting vehicles or changing traffic lights.

Benefits from these use cases include fewer traffic jams, more efficient supply chains, decreased fuel consumption and fewer road accidents.

There will be challenges to adopting these use cases. The transport and logistics industry must work together with telecoms operators and solution providers to build an understanding of 5G and how it will integrate with other technologies, and input into the development of 5G standards and regulation so the technology is developed to meet their needs. The role of governments will also be essential, due to their role in funding for 5G infrastructure that can benefit wider society.

An STL Research interviewee comments: “This new research shows the unique opportunity that 5G could provide for innovation and disruption in the transport and logistics sector. If operators are able to work collaboratively with governments and industry players, 5G could be transformative in its ability to drive efficiencies.

“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated how important it is to have reliable and high-speed connectivity. Governments should consider the value that can be derived from investing in 5G infrastructure and enabling the benefits to society to be realised.”