SD-WAN: What does it have in store for the Logistics Industry?

Suresh Kumar Vijayen

SD-WAN: What does it have in store for the Logistics Industry?

The Logistics Industry is one of the most dynamic industries globally yet moving at a slow pace to adopt the latest technology in line with the fourth industrial revolution vision. Recently, industrial companies are looking to accelerate their transformation plan to maintain profitability, drive operations efficiency, and respond to evolving industry and competitive pressures. As a result, logistics companies are looking beyond traditional technology such as regular RFID and GPS tracking systems.

The fourth industrial revolution introduced new  technologies in the Logistics Industry:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning offer real-time updates and analysis to make business-critical decisions such as traffic, inventory, weather conditions or movement of goods.
  • Full visibility and better control over inventory management and warehouse operations using the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics.
  • Robotics and automation, improving the efficiency of everyday warehouse operations like sorting and distribution while reducing the need for too many physical resources.


IX Telecom SD-WAN Logistics Industry


How does a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)  improve logistics operations?

  • Network Availability and Performance

Imagine a warehouse with thousands of IoT sensors that collect multiple data points per minute and transmit to Cloud infrastructure in real-time for processing and analysing. It is essential to have a network that is always available and uninterrupted for smooth operations. SD-WAN can handle this by using a combination of MPLS, broadband, and 4G LTE connections, which can be aggregated to make the network more flexible and manage more traffic and bandwidth demands. Besides, monitoring link performance and steering traffic automatically between WAN links provide an advantage to ensure application reliability and quality of experience.

Added to all these dream features, SD-WAN improves cost-efficiency.

  • Security

Logistics companies have decentralised network infrastructure such as Cloud, On-Premises, and colocation, leading to serious security concerns, especially with accessing the internet or cloud-based applications. SD-WAN has positioned security threats as its top priority embedding various end-to-end security, i.e. Firewall, URL and web content filtering, Malware Protection, Intrusion Prevention and Detection, IPsec Tunnel, Segmentation, and many more. These solid security configurations ensure the network always remains protected from any malicious attacks (viruses, malware, worms, phishing) in the centre and remote offices. 

  • Centralized Management and Control

Many logistic companies frequently and aggressively expand into new geographies through acquisitions or adding new locations. Therefore, it is crucial to acquire WAN links for new sites or branches with less lead time to ensure immediate startup. On the other hand, WAN management becomes complex with a routing architecture that needs to be developed, deployed, and managed, especially with traditional WANs. SD-WAN simplifies WAN deployment and monitoring by utilizing simple and template-driven workflows to eliminate error-prone configurations via zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) process allowing a bring-up network in a fast manner. Additionally, IT personnel from a remote location can deploy configuration and implement policy updates across all branch locations from a single central orchestration in one go and provide full visibility to manage applications, networks, devices, and users of the entire network. 

In a nutshell,  SD-WAN is a premium opportunity enabler in the logistics industry. By tackling challenges in management, performance, and security, SD-WAN responds to all the network requirements. Therefore, adopting SD-WAN in logistics guarantees a secure, agile, and high-performing network capable of managing the most complex and geographically dispersed operations.