5G industry news Transport & Mobility

5G Logistics

  • 3 minute read
  • Published by Lucy Woods on 13 Jan 2021
  • Last modified 13 Jan 2021
Bristol has a pioneering cluster of 5G businesses. As the university and the city have both been involved in a few 5G Testbeds and Trials projects, it’s perhaps no surprise that Bristol won funding for the 5G Create programme.

What is surprising is that this time, it’s for something in which Bristol has such a long history. The Port of Bristol is famed for its pioneering spirit 180 years ago that led to the building in the area of some of the world’s greatest steamships, some of them designed by the famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. That tradition continues as the project looks to automate the port with 5G technology.

5G to enhance security, traceability and tracking of goods

The West of England Combined Authority’s 5G Logistics project will help to develop 5G products and services to support operations at Bristol Port and at the Gravity smart campus, a development to house tech companies near Bridgwater. It aims to demonstrate a smart and dynamic “Freeport” environment.

Bristol 5G - martyna-bober unsplash

image: Unplash/ Martyna Bober

The project will focus on security, traceability, and tracking of goods within and across extendable virtual boundaries, and between public and private networks. It will demonstrate how efficiency and productivity could be improved by replacing existing manual scanned barcode identification with automated recognition and real-time location tracking of items within a 5G Internet of Things environment.

The project offers the potential for such advances in technology to be implemented industry-wide, including at other emerging freeports in the UK and other enterprise zones or business parks.

The consortium consists of the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff, Cellnex Connectivity Solutions, West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council and the Bristol Port Company, AttoCore, Maritime Transport Ltd, Unmanned Systems, Airspan Communications, This is Gravity Ltd, ADVA Optical Networking and Davies Turner & Co.

The University of Bristol has a wide portfolio of 5G technologies, which include advances in radio technology that increase throughput to core software architecture and a lot of practical experience through previous projects.

Cellnex is expert in mobile site installation, while Attocore is a Cambridge-based company that offers an efficient, enhanced packet core.

Airspan produces 5G cell infrastructure in the US, UK and Israel. This is Gravity develops smart campuses, while Davies & Turner are expert in port logistics.

The mix of some of the UK’s most experienced 5G companies with shipping, transport and logistics is well placed to deliver elegant and efficient solutions to the project. You can’t help but think that it’s the kind of thing Brunel would be doing today. 

Read Innovation Briefing Issue 4


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