5G Logistics

Research areas  5G & IoT
Dates 1st November 2020 - 31st March 2022
Funder Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
Contact person Prof Dimitra Simeonidou 

This exciting new project, funded by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), aims to show the potential of highly accurate and real-time location and condition tracking of containers and individual items in a freeport-freezone scenario. Freeports and free economic zones are designated by the government as areas with little to no tax in order to encourage economic activity.  

The 5G Logistics project is led by the West of England Combined Authority and funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It brings together twelve organisations and will see the development of a testbed to demonstrate 5G capability, offering efficiency and productivity improvements to the logistics sector and more widely, establishing the West of England as a world-leader in the development of advanced fixed and mobile communication systems. 

This £5.2 million project will expedite the roll-out of 5G services in the UK by enhancing the value chain through 5G enabled logistics applications, enabling new revenue streams and investments through customs models and tariff free transport and manufacturing. Utilising this unique and representative multi-technology 5G platform, the project will promote the creative digital industries in the UK, generating benefits across the entire logistics, transport and manufacturing economy value chain.  

The University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab contributes extensive knowledge and expertise in 5G network design and Internet of Things (IoT) architectures. We will integrate sensor networks with 5G NR (New Radio) and 5G SA (Stand Alone) core and provide solution architecture for the project’s data provisioning and contribute our research expertise on the intersection between infrastructure, mobile services, logistics and transport.  

Our experts are leading the project freeport usecase and 5G network research advancements and publish findings to international conferences and scientific journals. The freeport use case aims to deliver the integration of 5G and IoT sensor networks that is expected to deliver significant automation for the logistics industry and others.  

The main outcome of this is a novel technology, a 5G_IoT_Router which will bridge sensor and asset tracking data with 5G technology and edge processing delivering real time transmission over 5G NR.  

In particular the 5G_IoTrouter will deliver the following features:  

    1. 5G Location tracking of goods transport 
    2. Real time condition monitoring of goods during transport 
    3. Integration with logistics via APIs, SDKs and data visualisation 
    4. Freeport geofence and real time events alert 
    5. Goods stock control 
    6. Enhanced goods security  

The Smart Internet Lab will demonstrate the freeport use case using a real goods transport scenario and a proof-of-concept smart truck that its location is provided via 5G. It is envisioned that this project will demonstrate significant automation opportunities for the logistics industry, among others. 

5G Logistics brings together 12 project partners: West of England Combined Authority, University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab, Bristol City Council, Cellnex, ADVA, Attocore, Unmanned systems, Bristol Port, This is Gravity ltd, Maritime Transport ltd, Cardiff University and Airspan. 

Project Team

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Programme Overview:

Parked Lorries with containers
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