Enhancing Logistics and Transportation Management with Private 5G Networks
The global nature of modern trade exerts immense pressure on logistics and transportation industries. More goods than ever before must move from production via air, land, and sea to central distribution centers and, ultimately, to businesses and consumers. This presents substantial challenges for logistics and transportation companies, which must track, organize, and manage goods as they move through large facilities and complex warehouses.
But the introduction of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices into these environments can make it easier to move product.
By deploying networked devices such as sensors, cameras, and remotely controlled drones throughout a warehouse, airport, railyard, and shipyard, logistics and transportation operations can:
But networked IoT devices need continuous connectivity to deliver value. While operators can deploy a mix of networking technologies to provide the coverage and connectivity they need, private, wireless 5G networks are proving to be more viable. An efficiently designed 5G network offers the most cost-efficient way for transportation and logistics companies to optimize operations by leveraging a variety of IoT technologies.
IoT Devices Optimize Monitoring and Management, Increase Security
With IoT devices, logistics and transportation companies can significantly enhance operations, process, and move goods faster, and improve their bottom line.
For example, tracking and tracing of goods can be improved by deploying networked sensors and cameras throughout a facility and in containers and vehicles carrying the goods. This tracking enables partial or full automation and management of the movement and placement of goods anywhere.
The integration of connected autonomous vehicles that move goods and large containers independently can greatly increase efficiency. This integration diminishes the necessity for human involvement in routine processes and lowers the likelihood of errors.
To improve safety, operators can introduce wearable devices for all personnel and sensors that track the movement of autonomous vehicles. By monitoring the location of people and autonomous equipment, accidents can be avoided or responded to as quickly as possible.
The tracking of goods moving within and through facilities can also be improved using networked drones. These drones are capable of actively surveilling various areas on demand and instantly transmitting video feeds to control centers.
In emergency situations such as fires, accidents, or injuries, the same drones can precisely identify the incident’s location and deliver real-time video feeds to first responders, enabling swift and effective emergency responses.
The use of tracking devices and cameras throughout a facility can also enhance physical security. Real-time monitoring makes it easier to identify and respond to thefts or break-ins quickly, minimizing the associated losses.
Logistics and Transportation Present Challenging IoT Deployment Environments
But there are substantial challenges involved in deploying IoT devices effectively in the hectic and dynamic environments logistics and transportation companies operate.
IoT devices, drones, and cameras are all bandwidth-intensive machines that place significant data demands on networks. For the real-time tracking essential to IoT efficiency, these high-bandwidth devices demand highly reliable networks that maintain consistent coverage across a facility. Transmitting the substantial data generated by these devices requires networks with substantial throughput capacity to handle simultaneous data from multiple devices.
Wired, Wi-Fi, and LTE Networks Lack Key Enablers
To tackle these challenges, logistics and transportation companies can deploy a variety of network technologies.
Wired networks have historically been the first choice for many enterprises across most verticals, including logistics and transportation. They offer a tried and proven option and provide reliable and powerful connections.
However, wired networks are fixed once installed, requiring expensive rip-and-replace processes to adjust network coverage for even minor changes in operations. And many of today’s wireless network technologies can now compete or exceed the bandwidth and reliability of wired networks, while also providing significant flexibility.
While Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6/6E might suffice for security in homes and offices, they lack the enterprise-grade security essential for logistics and transportation networks. Guaranteeing the integrity of sensitive operational data and safeguarding sprawling distribution yards and warehouses requires heightened security and reliability. Compromised cameras or security drones in these areas can jeopardize safety and lead to the loss of goods.
And while LTE networks boast enterprise-grade security and remarkable flexibility, they lack the blend of extremely high bandwidth, throughput, and low latency essential for real-time monitoring and management of numerous connected IoT devices.
Private Wireless 5G Networks Can Optimize Operations
Given the nature of logistics and transportation operations, private wireless 5G networks are the ideal choice for any IoT deployment requirement.
The next generation of wireless technology offers orders of magnitude greater performance over LTE. It provides the substantial bandwidth and critical low latency needed to enable huge data throughput from all connected devices. Built-in enterprise-grade security guarantees that data and operations are protected. And highly flexible deployment options enable network designers to cover the full complexity of their operating environment.
iBwave Supports Cost-Effective Private Wireless 5G Deployment
Effective network design is crucial to efficient network deployment in any logistics and transportation environment. Network designers must be able to effectively model the full range of possible sources of interference to get an accurate picture of projected network strength throughout a facility. Designers need advanced and comprehensive survey and design tools to do this and accurately design coverage in complex environments. Without those tools, there’s a significant risk of either overdesigning or under designing the network, which can lead to unnecessary costs or unreliable networks.
iBwave Private Networks LTE/5G delivers the simplest and most reliable solution for planning, designing, and delivering private, high-performance networks for transportation and logistics operations.
Large environment modeling enables network designers to capture the full picture of a site. 5G/HetNet densification enables designers to consider both outdoor and indoor coverage with one tool, leveraging existing design asset files without costly file migrations. Advanced and powerful features guarantee the precise functionality of the designed network. These features include the Fast Ray Tracing Prediction Engine, Prediction Calibration, Inclined Surface Modeling, Attenuation by Frequency, and more. Additionally, cloud connectivity and seamless integration with iBwave Mobile Survey ensure that iBwave can effectively address both current and future private network requirements for transportation and logistics operations.
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