Technological innovations are reshaping the transportation and logistics industry. The use of mobile devices, electronic logging tools, and global positioning system (GPS) solutions have enabled transportation companies to improve not only their operations but the quality of their services. “When I think about recent technology in the transportation space, I immediately consider our GPS-based fleet management system. However, new technologies such as the in- cab cameras are poised to have just as big of an impact on our business,” says Anthony Trocki, VP of Transportation at Evans Distribution Systems. “I am currently looking to implement [in- cab cameras] into our own fleet.”
Transportation Technology for Today
GPS systems are not a new concept; logistics companies have been utilizing GPS systems for many years. In the past, however, they were limited in functionality. The older GPS systems provide a truck’s estimated time of arrival to a destination and calculate total mileage. Today’s GPS systems offer many new functions and features that have transformed the transportation industry.
It is expected that the transportation industry will continue to evolve as more and more technological developments are introduced. It is essential that transportation companies adapt these technologies into their daily operations, not only to remain competitive, but to control costs and to provide dependable service
These modern GPS systems allow managers to not only view the locations of their trucks but create geofences to alert them when a truck reaches or leaves its destination or goes off-route. Managers are now able to automatically track driver hours and use real-time traffic data to optimize routes. New features of the GPS system make it possible to improve truck utilization and track maintenance needs. In addition, managers can record drivers’ speeding, abrasive accelerating or braking, unnecessary idling, and other situations where safety and the environment are concerned.
When it comes to how this new GPS system impacts his role, Trocki says,
Having this real-time information available helps me see what is happening on a day-to- day basis. I am able to make decisions immediately, whereas before, the information was not readily accessible. I would have to make assessments based on week- or month-old data. In the past, I had to be reactive. Today, I can be proactive and recognize patterns and trends to plan ahead.
Transportation Technology for Tomorrow
It is expected that the transportation industry will continue to evolve as more and more technological developments are introduced. It is essential that transportation companies adapt these technologies into their daily operations, not only to remain competitive, but to control costs and to provide dependable service. Trocki says, “These new technologies enable us to better manage ourselves, better manage our fleet, and operate in a more real-time environment.”
Transportation managers are looking forward to the road ahead where trucks will be driven by loads of information that will improve utilization through increasing safety and efficiency. Some of the anticipated technologies include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, autonomous trucks, and automated freight matching.
These new developments will also have a positive effect on the entire supply chain. Trucks will become more integrated into the logistics system which will allow personnel throughout the supply chain to have full transparency into the location of their products. The more integrated technology and transportation become, the more opportunities to optimize processes and methods within their businesses.
Trocki claims, “In the end, it’s all about the ‘seven rights’ of logistics – deliver the right product, in the right quantity and the right condition, to the right place, at the right time, for the right customer at the right price.”