Even with freight transportation, convergence is the answer.
A $650 billion industry that, according to the American Trucking Association, consists of about 9 million employees, the freight industry is one so large that it can be a daunting task for companies trying to organize truckers, haul freight, and maximize profits all at once. With the industry expected to expand to a point where it hauls 14 billion tons of freight by 2018, the solution to increasing the effectiveness of hauling freight in an increasingly competitive market appears to lie in the hands of technology.
The Intelligent Transportation Society of America, a 400-member nonprofit group for optimizing transportation, told media members brought together in Rochester, MI. in August that the ITS market has grown by 17 percent since 2010, indicating technology may just be the long-sought answer for private freight companies looking to make the most of their drivers and supply loads.
The most notable change in technology during recent years is the introduction of crowdsourcing, which navigation providers like Waze have brought to the market in an effort to redefine the standard public address system. The technology gives truck drivers access to traffic routes and creates an aggregate system for the general public to provide tidbits on hazardous roads and possible shortcuts. At its core, it is a supped-up navigation system catered to the needs of truck drivers and their vehicle.
As trucking employees continue to adapt to this technology, companies are enjoying the benefits of integrating information into a cloud-based system, allowing for immediate alerts to recalls, bulletins, and vehicle information. This information is organized into folders much like it would be on a desktop computer, making it that much easier for managers to keep track of supplies and equipment for specific clients and, as such, improve efficiency of the industry as a whole.
Using the cloud-based technology, third-party managers and customers of supply loads can remotely track freight status, manage contracts, instantly share information with business partners and audit as well as pay functions using forms that are completely customizable. Moreover, the cloud system can be enhanced through the download of freight management “apps” optimized to be universal for varying systems in a way that is not entirely unlike multi-platform software for smartphones. This eliminates the ongoing concern of being outdated as cloud technology rapidly changes.
But perhaps most importantly, Web-integrated software allows truck drivers themselves to interact with one another in a seamless fashion, holding the potential to decrease the hauling time of freight and, potentially, reduce the number of on-the-road collisions with an acute awareness of routes to avoid. Because the cloud-based system is built to evolve, these features can be improved over time.
Trucking has already been dramatically changed since the introduction of computer software in the industry, making simple issues like invoicing, and executing the supply chain, much simpler than even a decade ago. And as the industry itself continues to grow, it can be safely assumed that IT integration in the trucking world will as well.
About the Author: This guest post was written by Brandon Baker on behalf of AmeriQuest Transportation Services, a trucking company operating in an industry that is quickly adjusting to the cloud. AmeriQuest carries a wide variety of refrigerated trailers for sale, as well as moving trucks for sale, to fit the needs of any fleet owner.