In the 5G era, how can network freight platforms break the dilemma of traditional logistics operations?

1. Analysis of the digital model of the logistics industry

The development of digitization is changing the traditional relationship in traditional logistics business. In terms of logistics tracking, wide coverage, low power consumption, large connectivity, and low-cost connection technologies are required from warehouse management to logistics distribution; the end-to-end integration of virtual factories spans the entire life cycle of the product, and it is necessary to connect widely distributed sold products. The products require low-power, low-cost and wide-coverage networks; similarly, horizontal integration within or between enterprises also requires ubiquitous networks, and 5G networks can meet these needs.

5G is an important infrastructure and key enabler to promote the digital transformation of the economy and society, and it will also cause a wave of broader and deeper digital transformation. Currently, mobile communication technology has undergone four generational transitions. The development of 4G has created a new era of mobile Internet, which not only promotes e-commerce to enter the explosive growth channel, but also promotes the development of new digital models and formats such as sharing economy and platform economy. Compared with 4G, 5G’s new network architecture gives it more unique advantages. For example, in terms of data transmission, the data rate of 5G equipment is 10Gbps, which is more than a hundred times that of 4G equipment; in terms of response delay, the data transmission of 5G equipment The delay is below 1ms, while the data transmission delay of 4G equipment is 50ms; in terms of throughput, the data throughput of 5G is 1 million per square kilometer, which is about tens to hundreds of times that of 4G.

As the integration of artificial intelligence and daily life becomes closer, the lower-end service industry and manufacturing industry are more likely to be replaced by machines. Before 5G technology has made a breakthrough in the field of mobile phones, China’s logistics industry has begun to use 5G technology. The expansion of mobile Internet into the field of Internet of Things will realize the interconnection of all things, the logistics industry will usher in a new model of Internet of Things + AI, and a new generation of logistics infrastructure will also appear, which will fundamentally improve the efficiency of the industry.

2. The 5G war kicks off, and many companies are striving to be the first

Many logistics companies have also taken actions. For 5G technology, Debon Express and Guangdong Unicom held a signing ceremony in September 2018. The two parties will jointly establish a 5G joint innovation laboratory and cooperate in industrial resources. This is to explore the future. Cooperation in data, Internet of Things, mobile networks, cloud platforms, etc. has laid a solid foundation. In terms of big data, the logistics technology laboratory will optimize the business of Debon Express in terms of store location, user profile and route optimization. In terms of store location selection, the combination of Debon Express’s three-segment code technology and China Unicom’s smart footprint can provide accurate insights and efficient location selection; the entire Debon Express and Unicom data can analyze user portraits in the region, and can organize marketing and adjustments. Employee structure: For route optimization, Debon Express can optimize the freight route of the main line and the last mile from the order delivery-the distribution center-the distribution station-the user, combined with big data analysis.

JD Logistics, which followed closely behind, signed a letter of intent for business cooperation with China United Network Communications Co., Ltd. Network Technology Research Institute in January 2019. Both parties will follow the principles of resource sharing and complementary advantages to give full play to their respective advantages and focus on key technologies. Development, smart logistics demonstration parks and other fields have carried out comprehensive and in-depth cooperation to jointly explore the application of 5G, a forward-looking technology in the field of logistics. In the Smart Logistics Demonstration Park, the visual monitoring of the entire logistics chain will be piloted under the support of 5G technology. Starting from the consumer’s order, packaging, transportation, loading and unloading, warehousing and distribution are all included in logistics services. For the “last mile” service of express delivery based on manual delivery, 5G technology will also solve the problems of low efficiency and low degree of informatization.

Secondly, DHL released the latest 2018/19 logistics trend radar report showing that 5G’s wide-ranging low energy consumption benefits will create conditions for global tracking and condition monitoring capabilities of packages and equipment. The portable Internet connection tracker can monitor the location and condition of goods in the entire supply chain in real time, eliminating the “black hole” of such information, which also enables high-value goods to be transported and delivered more safely due to better real-time monitoring.

3. There are many challenges in the transformation of logistics enterprises, and the future can be expected

Although logistics companies can obtain and maximize the use of real-time data from different sources through digital supply chains, they also face many challenges in this process. First, the issue of digital information security has become the biggest obstacle to its realization of digitization. Service providers can easily obtain corporate data, which makes companies worry about transformation. Second, under the influence of years of operation, management and production methods, logistics companies have a conservative attitude towards new technologies, new tools, and new models. The third is that some companies have not yet formed a closed-loop profit model after digital transformation and upgrading, which fails to reflect the true value of digital transformation.

In the wave of digitalization, logistics companies embarking on digital transformation and upgrading not only have inevitable challenges, but there are also problems such as the high cost of 5G technology, high operational investment, and narrow coverage at this stage. Although the road to realize the intelligent interconnection of people, vehicles, and goods requires gradual progress, the advantages of 5G will bring new changes to the logistics industry, empowering speed, connection, traffic, and the use of AI and other technologies to achieve scene intelligence.

Fourth, the unique advantages of 5G help flexible production

In enterprise factories, on the one hand, the unique advantages of 5G can help the large-scale popularization of flexible production. While reducing the cost of cables between machines, the continuous coverage of high-reliability networks enables robots to move. There is no restriction on the activity area in the middle, and you can reach various locations on demand. On the other hand, 5G can build a comprehensive information ecosystem that connects people and machines inside and outside the factory, so that anyone and everything can share information with each other at any time and place, which can meet the individual needs of consumers. It also allows consumers to participate in the production process of the enterprise.

5. The network freight is all cloud-based, and the solution adapts to multiple scenarios

The production link of a smart factory involves materials, warehousing, etc., and 5G technology can provide it with a cloud-based network platform. When dealing with complex scenes, experts in different fields can instantly understand the fault scene through VR and remote tactile sensing devices. With the help of the large traffic of the 5G network, the massive data interaction requirements of high-definition images in VR can be realized. At the same time, logistics companies can collect a large amount of industrial-grade data to form a huge database, and industrial robots can perform autonomous learning and accurate judgments combined with the supercomputing capabilities of cloud computing.

Secondly, through network slicing, solutions suitable for various scenarios can be provided to achieve real-time efficiency and low energy consumption, laying the foundation for the future development of smart factories. In the process of creating network slices, resources in the infrastructure need to be scheduled. Due to the mutual independence of various resources, network slicing management also performs collaborative management among different resources. In the smart factory prototype, a multi-level, modular management model was demonstrated, making the management and collaboration of the entire network slice more versatile, more flexible and easy to expand.

The combination of logistics and digitalization will surely subvert the traditional logistics industry, break the dilemma of traditional logistics operations, and drive it on the road of transformation to reduce costs and increase efficiency. This determines that logistics must be closely integrated with logistics supply chain management. Technology and capital should also strengthen cooperation to achieve comprehensive linkages between different companies in the entire industrial chain, open up data, and make the end-to-end overall flow more efficient.

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