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TR 22.836SA1
Study on Asset Tracking Use Cases

use "3GPP‑Page" to get the Word version
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V17.1.0 (Wzip)  2019/12  14 p.

WI Acronym:  FS_5G_ATRAC
Rapporteur:  Mr. Berisot, ThierryNOVAMINT

The present document describes asset tracking use cases and identifies new potential service requirements as well as new KPIs to be supported by 5G communication services for asset tracking.

full Table of Contents for  TR 22.836  Word version:   17.1.0

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1  ScopeWord-p. 5
2  References
3  Definitions, symbols and abbreviations
4  Overview
As every organisation owns assets (machines, medical devices, containers, pallets, trolleys…) and as an asset can be an (extremely) valuable one, the assets tracking represents a huge market (billions of units). These assets are not fixed: they are continuously transported all over the word by different kind of vehicles; and they are continuously moved inside different kinds of buildings.
The ownership of the assets changes many times as different stakeholders take possession of some assets and pass it on to different stakeholders all along a supply chain and any value chain.
The values of these assets are not fixed as it changes all along a supply chain and any value chain. The development of the sharing economy means one asset is used by different people, so increases the need of tracking the asset. So, every organisation needs to be able to track them anytime and anywhere (Indoor & Outdoor) in a global and multi modal context (sea, air, road, rail…).
Assets tracking includes several very different and distinct use cases such as pallets, trolleys, crates, containers, parcels, security assets but as well luggage, vehicles and even animals (Pets / Farm livestock) tracking.
The assets tracking topic is much more than just location; it includes real time monitoring of several elements or factors depending on the asset and its content if relevant (condition of the asset, environmental factors - temperature, shock detection, events…). It requires low cost IoT approach for which the two paramount requirements are coverage (need to support full coverage: Indoor / Urban/ Rural area/ Harsh environments / Metallic obstructions… and battery consumption efficiency (designed to cope with 15 years' lifetime without changing the battery or the UE).
Incorporating the support of these new requirements into 5G and mMTC will contribute to improve the 5G system.
5  Use casesWord-p. 6
5.1  Use case for Container Tracking
5.1.1  Description
There is no anymore one company in the world that does everything in- house: everyone outsources, offshores, and is a contractor and a subcontractor at the same time. Everybody is integrated in one or many different supply chains, being a local cluster or complex worldwide process.
And it's the container that keeps the supply chain and the world trade moving on.
Improving container tracking and supply-chain management is a top priority.
Technological innovation is seen as the crucial part of supply-chain management and container tracking by 93% of the executives of this business to increase efficiency, lower costs and improve effectiveness. It is therefore critical for the industry to have a total visibility on the cargo for the whole trip and identify what happen, when and where. This could also trigger contingency plan if necessary.
There are different sizes for containers but most of the containers have standardized sizes allowing them to be carried by boat, trucks or railway:
  • either 20 feet (6,058 m) or 40 feet (12,192 m) long
  • 8' (2,438 m) wide
  • 8'6" (2,591 m) tall
Most of the containers are closed and "dry freight" containers made from either aluminium or high-grade, non-corrosive and rust-resistant steel. These types of containers present doors on both ends and are mainly used for dry goods.
Beside there are also other types such as open top, refrigerated or reefer (with a power generator - used for shipment of perishable goods like fruits and vegetables), garmentainer (for clothes), tanks, half height (used especially for goods like coal, stones…), car carriers…
The whole duration of life of a container is generally between 10 and 15 years (12 years in average).
The container tracking is an essential part of the supply chain and logistics to make them more efficient. By monitoring and tracking seamlessly the container in near real-time, it allows to provide all the supply chain players and stakeholders a full traceability and to optimize the transport and the storage of containerized goods.
Any event related to a container is quickly notified and is allowing efficient analytics as well as taking related decision such as new sourcing plans if needed.
This use case describes a typical example of containers embarked in a ship and how future 5G System can help support the tracking of these containers in an efficient energy-saving approach.
5.1.2  Pre-conditionsWord-p. 7
5.1.3  Service FlowsUp
5.1.4  Post-conditions
5.1.5  Existing features partly or fully covering the use case functionality
5.1.6  Potential New Requirements needed to support the use caseWord-p. 8
5.1.7  Potential Key Performances Requirements
5.2  Use case for Wagon Tracking
5.2.1  Description
Wagon tracking and real time wagon fleet monitoring are essential part in the supply chain management. It contributes to optimize the fleet and maximizing the wagons and rolling stock use by reducing immobilization time and empty backhauling as well as providing better response to delays and stock shortage. It allows as well to design preventive and curative maintenance by measuring for example the full and empty kilometres or detecting shocks.
A freight train is comprised of one or several locomotives and several freight or goods wagons. The freight wagons can be of different variety of wagon types depending of types of goods transported such as open wagons, covered wagons, refrigerated vans, spine cars to carry intermodal containers, tank wagons, special purposes wagons (to carry coal, mineral or sand for example), …
These wagons need to be in a specific order to compose the train for example to avoid to put empties or light loads at the head end and heavy loads on the rear end but also based on different railway operator rules.
Most of the freight trains are running an average speed of 50 to 80 km/h depending on the curves of the tracks, the hills, the cargo and the length of train and usually are not going over a speed of 100 km/h (dependency on the country regulations).
A typical freight train have a length of 700 m to 1 km and are composed with between 50 to 120 freight wagons of 40 feet and some of the wagons can be double stacked. Some freight trains have even reached the length of 7 km and were composed of 600 wagons and 8 locomotives.
Each wagon needs to be monitored and tracked by its owners as well as by the freight railway operator managing the train.
The whole duration of life of a freight wagon varies from 20 years to 30/40 years and even 50 years depending on the type of wagon (and there is no power supply in the freight wagons contrary to passengers' wagons).
This use case describes a typical example of wagons attached together and how future 5G System can help support the tracking of these wagons in an efficient energy-saving approach.
5.2.2  Pre-conditionsWord-p. 9
5.2.3  Service Flows
5.2.4  Post-conditionsWord-p. 10
5.2.5  Existing features partly or fully covering the use case functionalityUp
5.2.6  Potential New Requirements needed to support the use case
5.2.7  Potential Key Performances Requirements
5.3  Use case for Pallet Tracking
5.3.1  Description
Reusable pallets (plastic or other material) are now playing an important role in the supply chain and logistics providing a cost-effective solution and long-term return on investment while being environmentally friendly by avoiding scrap pallets and packaging waste.
Such pallets are particularly adapted for in-house flow of goods, closed circuit or cases where there is extensive flow of goods with a small number of distribution sites such as providing goods between a warehouse and several distribution sites and stores. Another strong usage of such pallet is the automotive industry for the transport of accessory and spare parts to the assembling line of a manufacturer for example. Another usage is as well the military.
Some of the main challenges associated to the use of such pallets are the retention on site as well as the loss (or theft) of these pallets.
Therefore, tracking of pallets is important for the productivity while providing better inventory control and improved quality and the objective of pallet tracking application is to improve/optimize flow by reducing retention on site and loss or theft and to maximize the duration of use of such pallet.
The service requirements associated to this use case are the following:
  • Flows and stock management - Automatic inventory of each site as well as on transit
  • Tracking and optimization of Pallets flows
    • Per Site - tracking of every pallet per site
    • Per pallets: history of movement, duration of stay on site
    • Following transit - tracking of all pallets in transit and their position
  • Identify Loss and theft and reduce it
  • Identify Retention on site and reduce it
This use case describes a typical example of pallets and how future 5G System can help support the tracking of these pallets.
5.3.2  Pre-conditionsWord-p. 11
5.3.3  Service Flows
5.3.4  Post-conditionsWord-p. 12
5.3.5  Existing features partly or fully covering the use case functionality
5.3.6  Potential New Requirements needed to support the use case
5.3.7  Potential Key Performances RequirementsUp
6  Consolidated potential requirements
7  Conclusion and recommendations
A  Change historyWord-p. 14

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