Testbeds & trials

5G Logistics

  • Started on 13 Jan 2021
  • Completed on 30 Jun 2022

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  • Government funding: £3,054,994
  • Total project value: £ 5,268,708
  • Location: South West, Bristol

The West of England Combined Authority’s 5G Logistics project programme will help develop 5G products and services to support operations at Bristol Port and Gravity Smart Campus and demonstrate a smart and dynamic port environment. 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 ports in the UK, Enterprise Zones or other business parks.

Project Overview

The 5G Logistics project will deliver an open “smart logistics” testbed where 5G introduces high levels of automation into logistics management and security. It will create two neutral host, private networks, one at Bristol Port and the other at the Gravity Smart Campus, to demonstrate how 5G capabilities can be used to support  the smart operation of a distributed Freeport with remote zones.  

5G products and services will be developed to support the smart and dynamic port and customs environment, delivering traceability and real-time tracking of goods, and their condition, within and across extendable virtual boundaries – and between public and private networks. 

The project offers the potential for resulting solutions to be implemented industry-wide; including at other UK ports, Enterprise Zones, business parks and nationwide junctions.

Use Cases

  • Freeport - the development of 5G applications to: (i) improve port estate management and the efficiency of logistics arrival / handling / despatch, (ii) enable real-time monitoring of goods for customs and security purposes in a potential Freeport multiple zone scenario, (iii) provide traceability and continuous geo-location and monitoring of goods and materials to allow coordination of movements between Freeport and linked freezones. 
  • Port police drones – the development and trialling of automated drone flight for boundary inspection, ad-hoc surveillance and trigger event response. 
  • Smart junctions - 5G upgrades to an existing smart junction automation setup. 5G will support new functionality for extracting data to the cloud, departing from today’s self-contained systems, while enabling high-precision positioning capabilities. 

Related resources

Organisations participating in this project