Over the next five years or so, the trucking industry needs. to remove “barriers” to open up the industry and move freight better, safer and more efficiently.
As reported by Fleet Owner, he says the removal of barriers comes down to one word: “Friction.” He said “friction points” in trucking fall into categories of drivers, regulations, freight, safety and fuel.
“How can we take out the barriers or friction points that keep you from going from A to B?” McLaughlin asked.
The transportation industry is seeing “unprecedented, sustained” imbalances of demand to move goods and the ability to move them, but the question remains: Is it a driver problem or a capacity problem?
“There’s about a 30% shortfall in the industry’s current capability to meet demand …” says “… and 20% is more than likely waste and inefficiencies.”
“We could do better in balancing the capacity by assigning loads, by routing and by driving the vehicles more efficiently,” he contended. “These are things that we can do to address this challenge. We’ve already removed a lot of these friction points, but the question is, how do we take it to the next level?”
McLaughlin laid out a course for trucking’s future that includes more connectivity, mobility/mobile devices and business intelligence. “There are now over 30 billion things connected in the world, so this is not a new phenomenon,” he said. “How do we get more and more of that truck and driver connected?”
Part of the solution could come with the trend toward making trucks into mobile wifi hotspots through which the vehicles’ range of sensors and other data-gathering devices might be linked. “There are dozens of things that we can begin to connect through a central gateway off that truck,” McLaughlin said. “Tires, fuel, parts, whatever it might be — how do we wrap these in and drive them to higher value?”
The trucking industry is poised to tap that central information gateway to provide a better understanding of driver health and wellness and safety measures, he noted. “All these connection points are going to become more and more pervasive,” McLaughlin said.
Meanwhile, mobile devices — and more types of them — are becoming more common, with some predictions that the average person will have seven mobile devices in 2020. McLaughlin said the technology needed already exists in many cases, it’s just putting the elements together and fleets embracing what’s possible.
“Where do we go in the future? We feel we can double down on [gains that have been made]: 50-70% increases in each and every one of these areas just by deploying the technology capabilities we’re going to see in the next five years,” he argued.
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