Logistics Providers: Prepare Now for the Future of Trucking

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From self-driving vehicles, autonomous fleets and electric trucks, to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the gig economy—the future of trucking faces some big changes. Here are four strategies to prepare and capitalize on future opportunities:

  1. Reassure the workforce that their jobs are safe. New transportation technology continues to build on advances in automation, efficiency and productivity. While good for business, employees might feel concerned that self-driving vehicles or AI could put them out of a job. Managers can assure drivers that the future of trucking means even greater demand for drivers and employees who are comfortable embracing AI in the workplace. Managers must also provide training opportunities.
  2. Develop the next generation of skilled drivers. Early autonomous-driving routes will likely be limited to point-to-point transportation using major highways, and this new hub-and-spoke distribution system will inevitably shift the demand for long-haul truckers to newly created opportunities. There will be a greater demand for drivers to focus on shorter, urban routes, or workers with a more technical skillset to manage and monitor the point-to-point trucks from a central location, sort of like a call center or an air traffic controller.
  3. Leverage mobile technology to your advantage. Putting mobile technology into the hands of drivers can help managers collect real-time data around arrival/departure times, wait times, loading/unloading times, fuel stops, and more. On top of that, mobile has the ability to create far better employee experiences industry-wide by enabling people to take control of their own schedules. Using employee self-service features, drivers should be able to tap their mobile device to request a vacation day, anywhere at any time and know with confidence that their request was received and processed by a manager.
  4. Analyze all available data to drive your business. Analyzing data from the road enables managers to identify trends and drive better business outcomes. If a truck isn’t rolling down the road, it isn’t earning revenue. So, look at drivers’ wait times – are they longer than expected? If so, what could be causing the issue?

For organizations managing their own terminals and distribution centers, another significant area of opportunity is the time spent between when a driver arrives for a scheduled load and when they depart the facility. Tracking arrival time, pre-trip time, and time of departure using an integration between your electronic logging device (ELD) and workforce management solution can identify and reduce idle time, thereby improving productivity and potentially reducing payroll costs.

SOURCE:, 4/8/19

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