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January 16, 2020

The Impact of 5G on Logistics

5G connectivity recently launched in selected countries and is probably one of the most exciting developments of our time. It promises change and competitive advantages in logistics with functionality promises that could help take your business to the next level.

Firstly, let’s have a look at what 5G is. 5G is fast! It’s potentially 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. Even though 5G has become a familiar term, 5G isn’t going to penetrate this or any other industry in a boundless way for at least a couple of years. In the US, it’s said that nationwide 5G networks will only be up and running by the end of 2020 at the earliest.

What about 5G and logistics, specifically? It’s important to know that even the most dramatic increases in speed by logistic specialists aren’t enough to bring the results you are looking for. It’s very important to keep your expectations realistic, as quick speed doesn’t necessarily improve your customer service or your processes. It’s therefore important for a company to be clear minded about what it can do, can’t do and have a clear set of problems to solve and goals to achieve. At this point there are not enough perks for a company to invest in this new technology.

With the limitations out of the way, let’s have a look at some of the practical ways 5G is set to change logistics. With logistic companies handling great amounts of data, lightning-fast connection with low latency and high up-time is a necessity. 5G can deliver on that promise once it’s up and running. With up to 10 times lower latency than 4G, companies will be able to distribute and exchange far larger quantities of data than ever. It will be possible to process closer to the source, rather than dialing out to remote servers. This ease of connectivity, coupled with high speeds and low latency, will unlock a host of new technologies, methodologies and workflows for logistic companies.

All of this is impressive! However, does this new technology add up to a better business model and a more consistently excellent customer experience? A crucial point to consider is that the course you are taking, or the technology you are investing in, is something that supports people. Not all companies require the up-to-the-second functionality that 5G could provide. If your business is looking to make informed decisions more quickly, based on data gathered in real-time from across an organization – 5G should be an investment to consider.
Another aspect to consider would be that of old hardware and technologies not being able to support 5G functionality and therefore rendering the technology obsolete.

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