Building 5G private networks to unlock productivity, sustainability and operational efficiencies for ports and harbours

5G private networks can revolutionise ports and harbours with the provision of ultrafast and reliable connectivity. With higher speeds and lower latency, 5G enables real-time data transfer, facilitating seamless communication and information exchange between various stakeholders, including port authorities, shipping companies, and logistics providers. 


written by: Thorsten Lutz, EU Solution Architect, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK

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Ports are becoming providers of complete logistics networks

Under pressure to ship freight and deliver services quickly and save, in the face of escalating costs, many ports and harbours are looking at how they can leverage and build state-of-the-art private 5G ecosystems within their estate to accelerate and enable digital transformation and smart port ambitions. 

In an era of economic globalisation, ports are evolving rapidly from being traditional land and sea interfaces to becoming providers of complete logistics networks, albeit facing challenges that range from the globalisation of manufacturing and outsourcing and rapid growth in the volume of world seaborne freight, to heightened competition among ports and terminal operators. 

With ports and harbours playing a central role in the global supply chain management and logistics network, these cumulative challenges have led to an urgent need to increase productivity and efficiency in ports.


The need for ultrafast mobile connectivity 

As they look to digitally transform to create a smarter more efficient environment, many are looking to build and manage 5G private networks designed specifically to achieve the highest levels of ultrafast mobile connectivity, coverage, reliability and security across a port’s main operational areas. These highly secure and scalable networks enhance safety, security and sustainability across ports and harbour estates, increasing productivity and delivering operational efficiencies.

Ports and harbours are crucial gateways to trade, with thousands of ferries, container ships and cargo vessels carrying millions of tonnes of goods into port every year. There is an immediate demand for network coverage and process automation, with the desire to enhance over the time with the control of autonomous processes, which require, secure, dedicated and reliable data transfer with little delay and high throughput.

5G enables this facilitating seamless communication between all stakeholders and organisations involved in shipping and transporting goods from A to B, including the port authorities, shipping companies and logistics providers.

Delivering a secure and safe environment

A private 5G deployment allows ports and harbours to drive operational efficiencies and accelerate digital transformation through optimising processes across transport, logistics, supply chain and shipping, as well as boosting productivity through the smooth-running of the port’s operations. It also enables ports and harbours to explore how 5G can be used together to enhance public safety, physical security, and address climate change issues.

Additionally, 5G-led capabilities can help ports and harbours to further enhance productivity and safety. For example, 5G-enabled remote controlled inspection technology reduces the need for staff to work at unsafe heights. 


A long history of supporting ports, harbours, shipping and logistics organisations 

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK has been working in partnership with ports, harbours, and shipping and logistics organisations for over 20 years to deliver fit-for-purpose vehicle-mounted and handheld rugged mobile computing solutions. This enables shipping and logistics managers and workers across the supply chain to be fully digitally connected, wherever they are, whatever the conditions.

As many ports and harbours look to digitally transform and transition to next-generation mobile working, perhaps because they are experiencing high failure rates with equipment , connectivity issues, or they are struggling to access critical applications and data in real-time, Panasonic can help to alleviate these issues and transform their operations. Panasonic rugged TOUGHBOOK notebooks and tablets, combined with its Private 5G Network (5G Campus), deliver the future proof control and security our customers demand.


Unlocking productivity and contributing to sustainability ambitions 

To say that ports and shipping are vital to global economies and trade is an understatement. With rising demands on transport and logistics, and the growing need for operations to be safe, 5G-led innovations can help to unlock productivity benefits for ports and harbours. 

Furthermore, the rollout of 5G-enabled IoT, sensors to monitor air quality and other environmental factors can support sustainability ambitions. Likewise, 5G can enable smart energy management systems and monitoring devices, as these networks allow for efficient utilisation of resources, such as electricity and water. However, this will only be possible with a reliable, private 5G network connection.

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK is pioneering the adoption of 5G private networks across Europe, combining the best of 5G network benefits with Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices built for 5GSA and the technical support required to keep operations running smoothly.

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