Wireless communication technology is making headlines as new 5G mobile data networks are rolled out across the world and progress across a wide range of wireless communication approaches is creating new opportunities for the logistics industry to improve visibility, enhance operational efficiency and accelerate automation.

Next-generation wireless technologies will enable a new world in which everything, everywhere can be connected.

Key Developments & Implications

Logistics will be both a major beneficiary of the Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled digital revolution and an enabler of it. Logistics companies operate in a world of “things”, coordinating millions of shipments, assets and people across complex, heterogeneous and geographically dispersed supply chains.

And while IoT is alive and well in logistics, this new generation of wireless technologies will usher in an exciting era of capabilities that expand and build upon today’s successes. The ability to monitor, track and interact with those assets through wireless connections will make supply chains more visible, more flexible, more efficient, more predictable and more resilient.

  • Short-range network technologies like RFID, NFC and Bluetooth connect devices across distances between a few millimeters and several tens of meters. They are typically used for connectivity within the same room, or between different parts of a single, larger object.

  • Local area network technologies like WiFi, LiFi, and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) connect devices across distances between a few meters to a few hundreds of meters. They are typically used to provide coverage across a specific area, such as a home, office, warehouse or factory.

  • Wide area network technologies like 5G, will enhance mobile broadband at ultra low-latency with massive, machine-type communication to deliver new capabilities in connected supply chains. Network slicing will shift how bandwidth is allocated and leveraged by logistics providers and the world at the regional or national level. 

  • Low Power Wide Area Networks like SigFox, LoRa, LTE-M and NBIoT, will blanket the world with a thin layer of connectivity, connecting devices across distances between a few hundred meters and several hundred kilometers.

  • Global area network technologies involving low-earth orbit to geospatial satellites connect devices across large parts of the earth’s surface. They are typically used to provide connectivity in remote locations, or to maintain a connection with devices that travel over long distances.

Next-Generation Wireless in Logistics Trend Report

The latest DHL Trend Report, Next-Generation Wireless in Logistics, explores the full spectrum of new and emerging wireless technologies and examines how they will be applied to solve connectivity challenges and enable new IoT approaches in the world of logistics.

Questions Answered in This Report

  • What is Next-Generation Wireless and why is it relevant for logistics now?
  • Which Next-Generation Wireless technologies will enable new use cases across a variety of business sectors, and what are they?
  • How can I start applying Next-Generation Wireless in my supply chain?

Talk to an Expert

Christopher Fuss

Head of SmartSensor IoT
DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

Christopher heads the IoT SmartSensor team within DHL, and is in charge of the DHL SmartSensor solution, which is offered to all customers and Business Units of DHL. He joined DHL in 2018 and since then is driving and leveraging further IoT applications within DHL together with his team.

Previously he worked as a management consultant for network industries like energy, telecommunication and logistics. Here, he was leading multiple projects in the area of Business Model Innovation based on data-driven services. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim.

Ben Gesing

Global Head of Trend Research
DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

Ben Gesing is a global innovation leader with 7+ years of experience developing technical solutions in the logistics, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industry. Today he leads the Trend Research activities at the DHL Innovation Center near Bonn, Germany. He and his team are responsible for shaping the overall innovation agenda at Deutsche Post DHL Group through producing industry trend reports and piloting cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics in live logistics operations together with startups. 

Dr. Markus Kückelhaus

Vice President
Innovation & Trend Reserach
DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation

Markus Kückelhaus leads the global research and innovation activities of Deutsche Post DHL and oversees the DHL flagship Innovation Center near Bonn. He joined DHL in 2012 as Director of Trend Research, monitoring and leveraging trends with his team that will impact the logistics industry in the future. Previously he worked as a freelance consultant for DHL, supporting the development of a group wide innovation system and implementing strategies and business models for innovation initiatives.

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