Operations optimization is a fundamental concern in the world of logistics, especially in the ports field.
New technological developments such as 5G, artificial intelligence, development of robots, internet of things, etc., are an essential element that will become a game changer in port logistics.
Trends suggest that for each one of the industrial and market sectors, the search for solutions using these tools as facilitators for process improvement is urgent. 5G is one of the technologies, companies are starting to bet on, to adapt to the course of times.
5G in port innovation, is a facilitator for the operations optimization. It will have the power to transmit data safely in just milliseconds. This means speed, quality and transparency logistic processes; a catalyst to improve performance.
As I mentioned in previous blog articles dedicated to this 5G technology. Speed is one of the central attributes of 5G but it is not its most interesting feature.
- Low latency, improves the immersive virtual experience, allows the development of emerging technologies such as autonomous driving, AR (augmented reality) or AI (artificial intelligence), among others.
- The device density will make possible to connect up to one million devices per square kilometer; which is the key to the assertive development of the Internet of Things.
- Last but not least, the dynamic spectrum or also known as “network segmentation”, with which it will be possible to offer products that are appropriate to the needs of each industrial and commercial process.
These characteristics open the door to new technologies, which mean a new paradigm in the development of applications and invite us to “re-think” the logistic processes to project them into the future.
China moves fast to create port logistics innovative solutions.
The port city of Guangzhou will be the headquarters of the 5G Port Innovation Center. A cooperation agreement between port authority, the city’s port community in southern China, Unicom, The Innovation and Networking Institute of Guangzhou Xinyidai and Huawei.
This cooperation seeks to develop 5G technology in its application in port and maritime areas. Its application is planned for port alerts, auxiliary navigation, intelligent cargo handling and other parts of the logistics process.
An interesting study developed by ICEX Spain, develops the global panorama of this technology, as well as its economic, social and technological implications. In this position China, as the main competitor, to be the first power of the 5G development, hand by hand with its technology companies, such as the recently controversial Huawei, with an investment goal of 355,000 million euros and 460 million users for 2025.
Keys for 5G implementation in port logistics.
The whole industry and the logistic sector in particular, is perceiving 5G as the reference for the future in communication and as a completely new network concept that is the combination of terrestrial and mobile networks.
Several ports of the world, are beginning to test the capacity of 5G, focusing on fully automating common port activities. It is a matter of a few years until 5G sensors are more affordable, durable and available so that this technology can reach the entire industrial sector.
Shipping companies and other logistics providers that have bet from the beginning on the implementation of 5G, will see the benefits soon. Therefore, the key to success is to join the movement early enough to avoid the risks of losing competitiveness.
The 5G will have an important role to play in ports for two main reasons:
- First, Internet of Things in ports: everything will be connected, and large volumes of sensitive data will be exchanged in real time, which will allow the operations automation. For IoT to be fully operational and implemented in ports, 5G is needed, as the technology capable of offering the necessary bandwidth.
- Second, total Internet access in the port area: the ports are large extensions of land and maritime infrastructure, which makes it difficult to have access to quality Internet throughout the port area. With 5G, we will have it. It will be necessary to make an important investment for it.
Cooperation of the key players from multiple industrial and technological fields is making it possible to access 5G for companies in all sectors.
The port of the future will be based on 3 main characteristics that will allow it to adapt to the changing environment and innovate continuously.
- Cooperation: Technology innovation, which allows 5G, will push stakeholders in the port logistics world to work together.
- Innovation: Ports will be inclined to accept innovation through automation and digitalization. It will open the possibility for development of new “Smart” business models and will require new skills and profiles for its implementation.
- Sustainability: The ports of the future will promote renewable energies in obtaining resource and green processes. Alternative fuels such as electricity (in cars and trucks) and NGL (ships) will be used. They will join the 3P movement: People, Planet, Profit, for their sustainable growth.
- The development of a connected ecosystem will require companies in constant evolution, with adaptability and transparency.
5G promises to be the technology that will open the panorama for the development of automated, sustainable and effective solutions in port logistics innovation. It will revolutionize the port processes that we know, from the remote control of cranes, cars and other innovative systems; communication and radars, port security, innovation and development, data management, among others.
In the most important ports of the Mediterranean, such as the port of Barcelona, will be seen new developments for adopting this technology, betting on innovation and the continuous search to find the best way to implement the 5G, the Internet of Things, Blockchain , etc. which are innovations that are revolutionizing the way of doing logistics.