Impact of 5G on Supply Chains & Logistics

Impact of 5G on Supply Chains & Logistics


Do you have a plan to deploy 5G in 2020?

In a recent survey from Gartner, 66% of organizations plan to deploy 5G by 2020. Per SupplyChainDive, “As the 5G mobile broadband standard begins to roll out in cities across the world, supply chain and logistics managers who don’t have a strategy already may be behind the curve.”

What many refer to as the 5G revolution, has already started with Verizon launching service in big cities across the country in 2019, including Detroit in July! Digital Trends quoted Verizon’s CEO, Hans Vestberg, “(5G) has the potential to be one of the most transformative technologies that we’ve seen in a long time.”

At APICS Greater Detroit, we are here to serve the local supply chain community and help ensure you have the knowledge and tools to compete in today’s ever changing landscape. We share below what 5G is and how it will likely impact supply chains and logistics.

What is 5G? It is the fifth generation of wireless networks and has been nearly 10 years in the making. The new technology promises dramatically faster speeds, instantaneous communication, and the ability to network everything.

How will it impact Supply Chain and Logistics? SupplyChainDive shared 4 ways summarized below on how 5G will impact supply chains and logistics.

  1. Track and trace: Supply chains that require a high degree of synchronization will see significant improvements with 5G. Consider inbound-to-manufacturing in the automotive industry. Today, companies employ significant manual controls around the sequencing of goods to reach the assembly line. Track and trace visibility is expected to be the major area for improvement in supply chain logistics because better devices available at lower cost will increase visibility into shipments. Just-in-time manufacturing can track parts moving to the assembly line in real time compared to simply relying on the scheduled arrival. Industries that ship high volumes of small parcels or combine products into kits will be able to track individual products and components. 5G will also make it easier and more effective to monitor temperature, humidity and other environmental factors for sensitive products.
  2. Product monitoring: Network slicing capability allows 5G bandwidth to be divided among devices that don’t require the entire capacity. 5G can connect in a highly dense environment, up to 1 million sensors per square kilometer, according to Gartner. 5G enabled sensors will allow for tracking smaller items at the SKU level providing more detailed knowledge of what the condition is, where it is at and when it will arrive at the customer.
  3. Connecting indoors and outdoors: Due to better penetration into buildings, 5G networks can blend indoor and outdoor operations and networks. 5G can bridge mobile communications like LTM or 4G for outdoors with indoor technology like WiFi. For example, shippers can plan an outbound order that includes goods in-transit that have not yet been received at the warehouse.
  4. Real-time data: 5G’s reduced latency means there’s little lag time between when a sensor detects an event and when it’s recognized by the system. Medical device companies are testing robots that allow a surgeon to perform surgery remotely in real time. For the supply chain, reduced latency can enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication for automated trucks and warehouse robots. Processing power will be able to move closer to the work, making sensors and mobile devices more capable.

As exciting as 5G is, experts suggest companies will need to also plan for significantly more data and ensure they have a solid cyber-security system in place to protect against threats.

For more information on how APICS Greater Detroit can help you and your organization deal with today’s top challenges, check out our website at or send us an email at

Looking to advance your career, earn more, and help your company grow?

Check out our upcoming globally recognized certification classes below!
  • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution) starting on January 11th. CLTD helps participants demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics, setting them apart from peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners with a CLTD certification.
  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) – starting on January 22nd. CSCP is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.
  • CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) – starting on January 18th. The perfect certification for production and inventory management personnel. CPIM provides you with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations.

APICS Greater Detroit chapter members receive discounts on all certification classes – click here to join today. We look forward to helping you in your career!

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