China’s largest e-commerce retailer JD.com last Monday launched the country’s first 5G-powered smart logistics park in Beijing, as a major development in the company’s strategy to couple 5G networks with IIoT (Internet of Things) applications across its supply chain.
“The launch of our 5G-powered smart logistics park in Beijing – the first of its kind – is an exciting step in the realisation of IIoT at scale,” said Wenming Zhe, chief architect of logistics R&D, head of 5G-powered smart logistics park projects at JD Logistics.
Zhe added: “The low latency, high speed and ability to support a broad spectrum of simultaneous connections provided by 5G networks creates an unprecedented level of real-time connectivity, significantly improving the efficiency of JD’s fulfilment operations, which is key to providing the best customer service in the business.”
The new warehousing facility has a monitoring system that tracks the location and route of forklifts and pallets, and it triggers real-time alerts when any problems are detected in real-time.
The automated pallet monitoring is expected to significantly increase efficiency when compared with the traditional manual monitoring that had been done in the past.
“Furthermore, through smart parking, incoming vehicles are guided to the most appropriate parking space or docking bay. And the digital docking bay enables real-time monitoring when goods are being loaded onto the trucks,” the company said.
These innovations are just the first steps of JD.com’s plans for 5G-powered IIoT. Now on the drawing board are a range of other applications geared towards various aspects of the company’s logistics operations.