The Impact of 5G On Trucking in Chemical Supply Chain

Truck drivers in the chemical supply chain have been facing some serious challenges in 2019. The American Trucking Association shows a current need in the marketplace for 60,000 drivers, which could top 100,000 in the coming years.

Adding to that, transporting potentially harmful chemicals has increasing regulatory constraints. The requirements of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) continues to grow and will require new uses of data tracking and access to protect the public and first responders in the event of an accident.

And while, technologically advanced autonomous vehicles are slowly making their way from consumer- to commercial-use as self-driving trucks, its not reliable enough yet to be seen as a permanent solution. That's where 5G comes in.

How 5G Can Improve Chemical Supply Chain

Initial advantages of 5G technology will include the ability to get better in-delivery decisions for truck drivers based on location and traffic. These insights will allow for re-routing of deliveries in real time, which can have a significant impact on cost, as well as increased visibility for the customer.

Edge Systems

Larger and more sophisticated businesses will be able to take advantage of edge systems (the growing computing and data power found in devices at the edge of the network) instead of the home office hub that we have used in the past. Edge systems also connect distant, small-scale supply partners via a private network for increased visibility and control over their areas and the truck drivers operating in it.

The Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices offer a more thorough look into truck maintenance needs, which can significantly reduce downtime. Smarter sensors in trailers will be able to not only track temperature but potentially detect or prevent chemical leaks as well.

The IIoT can also help identify quicker routes for money saved on fuel and even tolls. With an informed delivery strategy in place, processes can be streamlined and standardized.

A Massive Shift

The chemical supply chain — trucking in particular is expected to see a massive shift in the coming years. Salaries and benefits are already seeing a dramatic change, and a 5G network to support IIoT devices is becoming available that will add new dimensions to your supply chain data.

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