S. Korea reveals roadmap for development of smart logistics technologies

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 20, 2021, 11:12 Updated : May 20, 2021, 11:12

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea has revealed a roadmap to accelerate the development and commercialization of smart logistics service models. Demonstration complexes will be set up to test services such as autonomous parcel delivery and automated logistics center management systems. The roadmap comes on the heels of quick growth in the domestic parcel logistics market.

According to data released by the National Logistics Information Center, South Korea's private parcel logistics market stood at 7.4 trillion won ($6.5 billion) in 2020, up 18.4 percent from a year ago thanks to the growing number of home shoppers who were grounded by a coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement on May 19 that six projects for the establishment of infrastructure and the demonstration of service models have been selected for the early commercialization of technologies. "We will continue to develop smart logistics systems so that South Koreans can live a more convenient and safer life," Chun Hyung-pil, a ministry official in charge of logistics policies, was quoted as saying.

Gimcheon, some 190 kilometers (118 miles) southeast of Seoul, will house a demonstration complex to test delivery drones and robots. A total of 12 private companies and organizations would test robots capable of delivering packages inside buildings. The city's digital twin will be used to analyze big data and develop optimized solution models. A digital twin is a digitalized duplicate of a structure or an infrastructure. Various situations can be tested to find a solution without damaging the real-life original version.

The southern port city of Busan will set up small-sized logistics hubs to utilize autonomous drones and robots for short-distance deliveries. Personal mobility equipment such as electric scooters and bicycles will be used for last-mile deliveries. A network of vacuum tubes will be tested to check the efficacy of an ultra-fast delivery system.

Other projects include an unmanned parcel box at a remote farming village in Jinan Country some 200 kilometers south of Seoul. Villagers can pick up parcels without visiting logistics hubs. The unmanned box will be used as a food bank for old people.

The southern resort island of Jeju will test a shared logistics service. Logistics companies charge up to 200 percent more to deliver packages to the island. An integrated logistics platform will be set up to directly connect local citizens and logistics workers. Delivery fees can be lowered by reducing the number of half-empty delivery trucks.

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