Over 80% of the American population depends on trucking for delivery of goods, as suggested by American Trucking Association (ATA). One can imagine that the impact trucking industry has on the lives of people is huge and hence any trend in software for the trucking industry is bound to impact everyone. We are trying to figure out the top 6 trends in software for trucking companies which are steering the wheel of transportation in supply chain world. Since every disruptive technology trend needs to get validated in the most challenging environment before being credited as a trend which changed the course of industry, we are starting with the most talked about trends first.
Software for trucking companies is adapting key features of IOT, automation, collaborative transportation based solutions. The agenda for trucking companies going innovative for freight transportation is the growing demand which is becoming harder to meet with ever growing challenges. While workforce resource was one of the major issues plaguing the trucking industry for decades now, it has worsened due to increased demand with e-commerce boom. The robust and exponential increase in last mile deliveries has also added extra pressure on the industry with increasing CO2 emissions. With the help of few thoughtful regulations and mandates, we are addressing these issues with sustainable software for trucking companies.
IOT based Remote Diagnostics
Remote diagnostics is the newest trend which is empowering the fleet managers to make their fleets more productive without compromising on their health. Software for trucking companies is now fed with the data sent by the IOT based sensors which are installed in the carriers to register the vital statistics of the key components of the carriers. This helps in scheduling the maintenance or repair session only when it is needed. It helps in knowing the exact status of the key component of the most intricate and inaccessible components of the carriers. This helps in avoiding the situations of sudden breakdowns during the transit which ends up making the trip less efficient and costlier. It is obvious that the carriers, with fewer trips to the maintenance station, are able to get more time on the road. This removes the wastage of work hours and efforts on manual diagnostics checks when not needed.
Even in the cases of breakdowns observed during trips, remote diagnostics for trucking companies comes handy in having greater control over the situation. For the fleet manager sitting thousands of miles away from the breakdown location, it is of great use to understand the nature of vehicle failure in order to send the relevant help as soon as possible. Remote diagnostics helps in providing this information. An estimated impact of the increase in savings after inclusion of remote diagnostics software for trucking companies can be anywhere in the range of 5-10%. But the prime benefit of remote diagnostics for trucking will always be about having greater control and internal visible for the carrier components.
Connecting Fleet with static infrastructure
The boom in the e-commerce segment, which is one of the biggest catalyzers in the growth of transportation industry, has laid constant emphasis on few features of software for trucking companies. Fleets connected to the infrastructure 24/7 is one of them. Connected Fleets communicating with the static infrastructure surrounding them is as vital as the communication within the fleet (via V2V communication, more on which is in next point). It helps in improving parking efficiency, optimising traffic flow, intersection assistance, real-time intelligent road signs, automating routing and also enhances in-house operations for faster dispatch.
Software for trucking companies is working towards achieving a completely connected fleet system which can communicate with the warehouses and distribution centres with equal ease irrespective of the geographic location. This is achieved by GPS tracking and digital links between the carriers and the static infrastructure present around them at different instances of the transit. In fact, US Department of Transportation has already released a document mentioning the guidelines to incorporate Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication in January this year. The federal guidelines clearly address the key aspects of V2I communication. It will help to understand the must-have features for the software for trucking companies to comply with the V2I communication technology. These guidelines are meant to underline the hidden security benefits of V2I communication apart from the consumer service. It is easy for the companies to acknowledge the relevance of a constantly connected carrier in the context of giving the timely status update about the consignment to the customer or operational efficiency. But after knowing the findings of the research about the impact that V2I communication can have on the safety scenario of the trucking industry, it is time to understand the need of V2I communication for safer transportation.
Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communication
This is one of those trends which is pushed by regulatory bodies in the trucking industry for the good of all. In December 2016, Department of the Transportation (DOT), emphasised that they are going forward in the direction of making V2V communication technology mandatory for cars and trucks. Till now, heavy duty truck segment is not touched upon this topic directly, DOT has made it clear that they will be likely making an official announcement in the later part of the year. If this happens it will be next big revamp for the software for trucking companies after ELD mandate.
V2V communication enabled software for trucking companies have a considerable impact on increasing the safety quotient of the trips. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been researching about practical implications of V2V communication among the carriers since 2002 and has come up with some interesting findings. It has been observed that with proper inclusion of V2V communication in the transportation system about 3 quarters of the road crashes can be curbed. This is a huge impact on improving the road safety which cannot be neglected. NHTSA and DOT, both of which are firmly pushing the V2V communication feature in software for trucking companies, also suggests that efforts are continued to make the systems digitally secure with apt cyber security measures to thwart any attack on the system integrity. It also addresses the issue of broadcasting information about carrier and driver by limiting it to only generic and operational. With a promised 360 degree situational awareness of carrier and surroundings and trusted cyber security features, the trucking industry is definitely going forward with V2V communications in 2017.
Automation in software for trucking companies is not only about being more efficient it is about being sustainable. There are two factors which are propelling the drive towards embracing complete automation in the trucking industry. First and the most obvious one is workforce crunch. The trucking industry is alarmingly moving towards a future where deficit between the actual requirement of drivers and available ones is increasingly rapidly. In an era where transportation industry is growing at exponential growth, workforce crunch is acting as an inhibitor as well putting more pressure on the existing workforce to meet up the demand. There is a little surprise in the fact that fatigue is coming up as one of the top most reasons for the casualties observed in highway crashes by the trucking industry.
The second reason for going towards automation is profitability. With automation powered software for the trucking industry, each year transporters can save anywhere between $19,000–$36,100 on every truck. To make autonomous driving as safe as possible, the trucking industry is going forward with the best options in laser detection, 3D maps, radars for long and short distances, the camera for monitoring and sensor equipped carriers. With the companies going forward in the direction of automation with open arms, it will be interesting to see how competitive the industry will become in a year or two.
Automated Freight Matching
Information is becoming the “Oil” for new age software for trucking companies. But how? Automated freight matching is answering this by adding value in modern supply chains. In manual freight matching the inspection and updating of available space in a carrier is possible only when the carrier arrives at the warehouse or distribution centre. After inspection and understanding the excess space available, the freight forwarders can communicate the possibility of more shipping with freight matching platforms. This process is neither feasible nor efficient in generating viable ROI since the time wasted in inspections as well as calling for more freight that needs to be shipped often surpasses the profit margin.
To surpass this challenge, software for trucking companies are now using automated freight matching features. It helps in performing freight matching operations in one of the most efficient and fastest ways such that the carriers need not wait for long hours the spots to be filled. The sensors based automated inspection to detect the available load area updates the same in the central freight matching platform. Since the sensor based inspection of carriers doesn’t involve any manual work, the carrier details are updated with the available load area in real time with the latest status. This helps in saving the time invested in updating of load area which fastens the decision-making process. Once the spots are booked, the carriers can be redirected to the nearest pickup point which is already defined due to confirmed spot. Nowhere in this process, the carrier needs to stop waiting for the load area to be allocated. This also means that the carriers can spend much more time moving to complete the trips which are crucial to optimise on-trip time.
Hub and Spoke Networks
These are one of ideal transportation conditions with the help of advanced automation of software for trucking companies. In these networks, the highway capacity can be increased by as much as 50%. This is done by using collaborative practices such as platooning for freight transportation which is completely automated. In order to optimise the supply chain, the transporters are accepting the fact that the need to include larger distribution centres or hubs is crucial. The transportation industry is moving towards the inclusion of autonomous trucks which have the capacity of driving between these hubs without any dependence on human interaction. Optimised highway capacity, being one of the strongest argument in favour of using autonomous trucks, is not the only benefit which shippers can achieve with hub and spoke networks. This type of transportation network helps in shipping with the help of completely automated freight matching and routing trips for trucks with data-driven decision making between centres.
This creates an ideal scenario for the fleet management system where the utilisation rate for the trucks is highest. Apart from the direct benefits of increased efficiency, hub and spoke system adds value with indirect benefits too. The reduced CO2 emissions due to completely data drove routing between the centres in a controlled environment can impart significant positive impact on the environment. With E-trucks and autonomous carriers taking the centre stage for performing last mile delivery, it is evident that the industry is ready for environment-friendly software for trucking companies.
A word of caution which we would like to share with logistics enthusiastic is customization. The industry stalwart forgets the priorities or the bigger picture to understand the minute requirements once they hit the success. Here, it is important to understand that customization options are as necessary for logistics organisations as these individual features are. The ones which we have already mentioned are based on the general trends which are adopted by urban shippers in the pursuit of becoming more efficient. It doesn’t mean that all of the best shippers in the world are currently using these. Logistics organisations might not need all of them at once. These trends are a reflection from shippers from a varied background serving different markets.
Therefore we have always opted to serve our clients with the customised development services for the software for trucking companies. The customised development for software for trucking companies helps in reducing development cost and keeping the management lean and efficient to do necessary tasks. To address this need of shippers, Dreamorbit provides customised development for software for trucking companies. These development services are based on the detailed discussions between the shipping industry leaders and Dreamorbit professionals with an agenda of knowing the requirements. The dedicated team then comes up with the set of development features which fulfils the demands of the shippers in the most efficient way possible. Once the shipper is fully satisfied with the development scenario presented the team embarks on a planned agile development process to achieve the best software for trucking companies features. You can also opt for free discussions by connecting with Dreamorbit team to know more about your options for getting a smarter software for trucking companies.
DreamOrbit is a Logistics and Supply Chain Technology Development company. We have been creating meaningful and reliable software products for the industry which is “Always on the go” for the past half decade. We are highly motivated team aimed at innovation. Our philosophy is to “keep challenging the potential within”. With the support of our happy customers and dedicated team, we strive to provide best possible solutions to industry problems. Visit our website to know more about DreamOrbit.