The 5G Revolution In Taiwan

By Michael Chu | August 27, 2020

Taiwan is spearheading innovation in 5G – and re-imagining the future of logistics at the same time.

The fifth-generation mobile network - or 5G as it’s known to most of us - is transforming the logistics industry. Imagine the delivery services of the future – placing an order and arranging deliveries via artificial intelligence (AI) and having a robot or drone to deliver the package at your doorstep. The entire process, from placing orders to picking up the package, is becoming faster and more convenient than ever.

AI delivery service, automatic delivery robots and drones, these are what FedEx has already been testing around the world. It is before long these innovative services will be available more broadly. In fact, the evolution of mobile networks often comes along with the emergence of new business models. The high speed, low latency and ubiquitous connectivity of 5G technology will further boost vertical industrial applications, which will bring customers with new and innovative logistics services with greater convenience.

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, it is estimated that the number of 5G subscribers will reach up to 2.8 billion by the end of 2025, accounting to 30% of the world’s mobile data traffic. Taiwan is playing a strategic role here – the 5G action plan by the Taiwan Executive Yuan has outlined the strengths of Taiwan in the development of 5G, including the strong infrastructure foundation of mobile communication, information communication, and semiconductors as well as high acceptance to innovative technologies among businesses and individuals, all these provide an excellent backdrop for 5G services development in Taiwan.

In terms of infrastructure, Taiwan is well positioned to develop 5G. As businesses and individuals are anticipating the benefits brought by future 5G service applications, businesses should keep up with the trend and leverage digital technologies in advance to unlock more business opportunities in the future.

Smart logistics technologies empower SMEs

Comparing to 3G and 4G, the biggest strengths of 5G are its high speed, low latency, and ubiquitous connection, which has brought the logistics industry into a new revolution. 5G Internet is going to realize the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) – enabling millions of Internet devices to be supported at the same time with real-time data collection. Data analysis allows logistics providers to provide more customized services to customers, with enhanced tracking of the shipments and visibility to the entire supply chain.

On the other hand, since supply chain involves a complex process, from sourcing the materials, to manufacturing and sales, while products go through the process of ordering, sorting, packaging and delivery, with the increasing dependence of SMEs on a sophisticated online business ecosystem, whether companies can apply the relevant logistics technologies under the 5G era will be critical. Companies should start thinking about optimizing each step of the supply chain by leveraging digital technologies to improve operational efficiencies.

Logistics companies continue to increase their investments in digitalization and technologies, transforming themselves from an infrastructure provider to a smart service provider, to path the foundation for the 5G revolution. For example, FedEx SenseAware® consists of a multi-sensor device working with the Internet of Things, enabling customers to have real-time control of status of their shipments, including the location, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light exposure and shock events. This innovative service helps customers to keep track of their shipments, and better manage inventories and lower operational costs in the long term.

In terms of last-mile delivery, FedEx RoxoTM, an autonomous delivery robot provides a safe and sustainable way to deliver for the e-commerce market. We also worked with Wing, a delivery drone startup, to test drone deliveries in the United States. The application of 5G technology helps speed up the development of smart logistics, and bring more possibilities to companies by enhancing delivery efficiency, convenience and safety.

As 5G begins to mature, logistics innovation will flourish, and hence creating more business opportunities. Through smart logistics solutions, businesses can enhance their overall business efficiencies of their supply chain and distribution channels, and ultimately provide an outstanding experience to customers. Whether SMEs can grasp the business opportunities driven by 5G development in Taiwan, and leverage new technologies efficiently in the future, will be key to maintain their competitiveness under the new logistics revolution driven by 5G technologies.
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About the Author
authors photo

Michael Chu

Managing Director,
Taiwan, FedEx Express

As the Managing Director of FedEx Express Taiwan, Michael has extensive experience in Operations, Customer Technology and Customs. An Aeronautical Engineering graduate, Michael is a keen enthusiast of emergent tech and innovation. He’s been with FedEx since 2006 and is based in Taiwan.

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