Technology is Changing Trucking’s Present and Future

We exist in a time of fast changes and high growth thanks to the incredible advancements that have been made in technology over the past two decades. New boundaries of what technology can do and how they can help improve lives and businesses are being discovered every day and it is changing the playing field for all industries. Let’s explore some of the things that are changing the game today in the trucking and freight industry and some things that may change the future of trucking:

Big Data – What is it? It just means extremely large data sets, either structured (clean) or unstructured (messy) that are hard to work with in traditional software. These large data sets are so enormous that they are hard to analyze, share and transfer, gather, and visualize. However, inside the data, once structured and funneled down to specific there is a lot of information and insights within. You are able to perform predictive analysis, spot patterns and trends, and from that make better decisions regarding pricing, costing, which customers are your best, and spot good/bad projects.

The Cloud & Mobile Applications – aka software that runs online, which makes your files and information available as long as you have a connection as opposed to just being stored on your own device. The cloud has changed trucking in that it helps all parties involved in moving freightand trucking have information at their disposal on multiple devices. A freight-forwarder is able to track shipment, handle payroll, dispatch and share crucial information right from their fingertips.

Clean Technology – Think for a moment how much more prevalent hybrid or otherwise electric cars (like Tesla) have become in the past decade. Now apply that to commercial trucking. Scary isn’t it? With companies and individuals alike becoming more and more socially and environmentally conscious, we could see a shift towards HYBRID commercial vehicles in North America one day. After all, they are much more fuel efficient.

The Improving Google Maps – Have you ever wondered how Google Maps predicts traffic? They do it in two ways – traffic sensors and crowd-sourcing. Google is able to crowd-source information on phones when people use Maps with the GPS enabled. This allows them to see how fast cars are moving on highways and other roads. In 2013, they purchased Waze – which lets people live update about traffic situations, whether there is: a clear road, accident, or some other scenario on different routes.

Maybe One Day…

Google and Apple have had plans in the works for the release of driver-less cars: a potentially safer, more efficient way to drive even though it may face some resistance. Could the same eventually happen to the trucking industry? Do you think there will be a time that trucking is no longer an option, replaced by driver-less commercial trucks? It’s a scary thought. Currently, we are facing a trucker shortage and it STILL represents 83.7% of the transportation industry, employing roughly 3.5 million truckers and another 5.5 million in trucking-related positions.