What’s in Store for the Future of the Transport Industry?
Like most industries, the smartphone was set to turn the shipping industry on its head. Now, with the intervention of smart devices we can transfer much more data, and collect it in real-time. In addition to smart devices allowing us to always stay connected, engine and vehicle technology has been making leaps and bounds over the past decade, leading to greener vehicles, and venturing into the realm of autonomous cars and trucks.
For quite a few years the transport industry stayed relatively stagnant – communication between drivers and shippers may have upgraded from CB radios to cell phones and handwritten logs to emails, but overall the data collected and passed on was the same. Like most industries though, the smartphone was set to turn the shipping industry on its head. Now, with the intervention of smart devices we can transfer much more data, and collect it in real-time. In addition to smart devices allowing us to always stay connected, engine and vehicle technology has been making leaps and bounds over the past decade, leading to greener vehicles, and venturing into the realm of autonomous cars and trucks.
Although it may not always be at the top of a lot of executives list, going green is a huge movement coming through the transport industry. Millennials and other young adults are seeing the future payout that going green will have on all industries, which is making it a huge investment opportunity. The first companies that are willing to take some short term profit losses in order to convert their fleet to be more environmentally friendly are going to have a huge competitive advantage in the near future, leading to much greater profits for their company.
This is another important topic to factor in when discussing advances in vehicle technology. When fully enabled self-driving trucks make headway into the shipping industry, it’s going to be an interesting show to watch. Will there still be a need for individual truck drivers? Will there be remote driving assistance needed for these vehicles? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before self-driving trucks show up, and time may be running out.
In today’s trucks, you not only have a driver with a smart device, but most trucks also have digital screens with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing hands-free use of most integral smartphone functions. Of these functions the most important are calls & text messaging, GPS navigation and internet connectivity. With those functions, drivers can be connected with their shipping managers at all times. Current apps can already allow shipping carriers and brokers to automatically track shipments through freight visibility apps. In future, in-vehicle apps can be created that link with existing fleet tracking apps to allow driver input while on the road.
Seamless Data Integration
As mentioned before, freight tracking smartphone apps now allow managers to monitor shipments in real time, getting accurate updates on location, Live ETAs and more. What this also allows is for this data collection to be integrated into their supply chain management system, allowing easy data collection and organization. With this, from one hub a shipment manager can pull up real-time data on all of their shipments, from one digital dashboard.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Roome is a digital marketer and writer based out of Orillia, ON.