5G Logistics

Research areas  5G & IoT
Dates 1st November 2020 - 31st March 2022
Funder Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
Contact person Prof Dimitra Simeonidou 

This exciting new project, funded by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), aims to connect the Bristol Port and other potential free economic zones to new 5G technology. Freeports and free economic zones are designated by the government as areas with little to no tax in order to encourage economic activity. The Smart Internet Lab will focus on the intersection between infrastructure, mobile services, logistics and transport and will demonstrate the freeport use case at Bristol Port. 

To expedite the roll-out of 5G services in the UK, this £3 million project will enhance the value chain through 5G enabled logistics applications, enabling new revenue streams and investments through customs models and tariff free transport and manufacturing. Utilising this unique and representative multi-technology 5G platform, the project will promote the creative digital industries in the UK, generating benefits across the entire logistics, transport and manufacturing economy value chain.

The University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab contributes extensive knowledge and expertise in 5G network design and Internet of Things (IoT) architectures. Smart Internet Lab integrates sensor networks with 5G NR (New Radio) and 5G SA (Stand Alone) core and provides the solution architecture for the project’s data provisioning. The Smart Internet Lab will lead the project freeport and 5G network research advancements and publish findings to international conferences and scientific journals.

Smart Internet Lab will lead the main project use case: the implementation of a 5G enabled Freeport. The freeport use case aims to deliver the integration of 5G and IoT sensor networks that is expected to deliver significant automation for the logistics industry and others. The main outcome of this is a novel technology, a 5G_IoT_Router. The 5G_IoT_Router bridges sensor and asset tracking data with 5G technology and edge processing delivering real time transmission over 5G NR. In particular the 5G_IoTrouter will deliver the following features:

  1. 5G Location tracking of goods transport
  2. Real time condition monitoring of goods during transport
  3. Integration with logistics via APIs, SDKs and data visualisation
  4. Freeport geofence and real time events alert
  5. Goods stock control
  6. Enhanced goods security 

The Smart Internet Lab will demonstrate the freeport use case using a real goods transport scenario and a proof-of-concept smart truck that its location is provided via 5G.

5G Logistics brings together 12 project partners: West of England Combined Authority, University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab, Bristol City Council, Cellnex, ADVA, Attocore, Unmanned systems, Bristol Port, This is Gravity ltd, Maritime Transport ltd, Cardiff University and Airspan.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:


Project Support:

  • Ms Rebecca Layland

Programme Overview:

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