Technology has become well and truly embedded in every facet of modern business’ operations. This is particularly true for the trucking and logistics industries.
Communication in the freight sector is largely conducted through phone, email, and instant messaging networks. Now, technology is playing an ever-increasing role in streamlining the delivery of goods.
Consider the huge network of parties involved in supply chain sectors, paired with the industry’s rising operational standards. It’s easy to see how rapid and efficient communication is as a crucial driver in logistical businesses’ performances.
Today, more logistics companies and niches than ever are improving their operations and shaping the future of the trucking industry. By incorporating new technological innovations into their operational strategies, they’re taking enormous strides forward in the right direction.
Here are 6 tech trends that have forever changed the trucking industry, permanently revolutionizing logistics:
Blockchain is the way of the future for logistics and transport businesses. A rapidly growing number of companies each year are using it to offer additional supply chain accountability and transparency for managing both assets and documentation.
Businesses that use Blockchain-based ledger technology have been able to boost their levels of service by supplying end-to-end shipment status visibility. They have also improved their on-time statistics and equipped themselves with the tools to implement smart incident management strategies.
Modern applications are already using Blockchain technology to offer smart contract features to logistics firms. Smart contracts initiate when placing shipment orders, and can be quickly executed on delivery if all necessary validations are certified.
2. Digital Automation
Digital automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) have allowed logistics operations with complex, convoluted processes to simplify their operations and make them more efficient than ever. New technologies such as asset tagging are creating more interconnected, communicative environments for stricter asset management.
Warehouses can better manage their inventory thanks to automation, and truck drivers can better control their cargo while on the road. IoT systems provide value by allowing for predictive maintenance and real-time performance insights through technologies such as acoustic and visual sensors on tracks and vehicles.
3. Big Data Analytics
Shareholders across the logistics supply chain ecosystem are now considering data-driven strategy as the new gold standard.
Data that trucking companies obtain from their day-to-day operations can inform firms of fluctuations and peak demands on the horizon. Plus, it provides valuable insights into supply and demand estimates, accurate turnaround times, truck fuel consumption, and route optimization.
These factors, when optimized, can provide a competitive edge within the growing logistics marketplace. Additionally, warehouses can accumulate shipment information to streamline shipping management and inventory control procedures.
4. Delivery Digitalization
The adoption of new digital tools like instant online payment systems has brought about rapid and lasting changes in the sector. Digitization has improved virtually every aspect of the trucking industry, from making shipper to carrier transactions quicker, to boosting customer satisfaction and trust.
Digitalization has driven efficiency and lowered freight companies’ operational costs by consolidating all of their expenses into single, comprehensive digital platforms. This increased efficiency has prompted a digital maturation of the logistics sector as a whole, while reducing risk and enhancing revenues simultaneously.
5. Advanced Road Technologies
Freight industry startups in every corner of the world are developing goals to bring tech-based innovations to major roads and highways. Integrated solar panels are a fantastic example. These panels, laid in hundreds of miles of tar surfaces, have the ability to melt dangerous snow and ice, generate solar energy, reroute traffic, and perhaps even direct self-driving vehicles in the future.
These so-called ‘smart highways’ could power nearby traffic and streetlights with sustainable energy sources, detect irregular or hazardous traffic activities, or report hazards to oncoming drivers. Technologies like these could have the power to ensure smoother traffic flow and more efficient truck routing, making the future of logistics a brighter one still.
6. Warehouse Robotization
Commercial giants like Zalando and Amazon have ushered in a new age of futuristic logistics fulfillment centers. These companies have integrated robotic technology into their warehousing processes, making it easier to sort, choose, and ship products while minimizing delays.
There have been concerns voiced in the past that robotization could reduce the number of jobs in the trucking industry. However, rather than robots replacing a human workforce entirely, robotic technologies are instead implemented in a way that supports the existing human workforce and makes staff jobs simpler.
Additional Trends Revolutionizing Trucking
There are more innovations than ever prompting a logistical evolution in the age of technology. Some more trucking industry-changing trends to watch out for include:
● Mobile tech. There are few truck drivers today who don’t have smartphones on hand while tackling their daily routes. These small but powerful devices make it possible for truckers to submit paperwork instantly, minimize contact between themselves and staff during COVID-19, and reduce company hardware expenses. Other mobile tech like printers, tablets, and GPS units are playing a role in the industry too.
● Electric vehicles. The climate emergency and rising carbon emissions are some of the most pressing issues of our time. Progressive trucking companies are moving away from traditional gas-powered fleets in favor of low-emission electric vehicles.
Full electric trucks produce minimal toxins and carbon waste, and cost significantly less to run.
● Cloud computing. Cloud-based computing has given small- and mid-size trucking companies access to cutting-edge technologies and infrastructure at affordable prices.
Trusted cloud providers like Azure and AWS supply out of the box machine learning and analytical software, along with smart visualization solutions for businesses of all sizes. Computing on the cloud also enables trucking companies to reduce or eliminate infrastructure and computing power costs.
Technology Leads the Way
Trucking companies that have embraced technological trends and innovations enjoy superior efficiency and lower operational costs.
Fleet managers and their employers need to incorporate emergent technology and process innovations into their operations to stay competitive in the burgeoning freight industry. Thankfully, this is easier than ever to achieve thanks to the ready availability of advanced technologies to carriers.
Guest Blog: Lorie is a full-time writer and editor with a background in logistics management and freight forwarding, covering a variety of topics and news within the industry.