The following article by Maven CEO Avi Geller was originally published in Inbound Logistics on February 4th, 2021.
As all industries experienced the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, those involved in freight and supply chain management realized digital transformation efforts had to come first in order to mitigate disruption and better prepare for the near term. Here are three areas where I foresee major changes in the coming months.
Route Optimization and AI/ML
Some of the most important advancements within trucking technology will take place in the area of route optimization. Route optimization software, coupled with continued advancements in AI and machine learning, will provide fleets with an abundance of knowledge and efficiency gains.
The ability to automatically create, plan, and optimize routes significantly better than before—all while taking the data and variables into account that only route planners typically know, like driver skillset and which routes are the most challenging—will give planners more time to focus on the unique cases and exceptions that require more advanced planning experience.
One major area of ongoing growth related to trucking technology is the concept of formulating plans and routes that suit the driver. Going forward, the type of loads and routes can be automatically assigned to suit specific drivers.
Prioritizing driver preferences, needs, and best interests, while optimizing fleet operations, will be critical for driver retention, especially as the driver shortage continues. With advancements in trucking technology, particularly with AI and machine learning, fleets can automate plans and routes that take performance-based assignments and multiple variables into account. This technology trend will set fleets, as well as drivers, fleet managers, route planners, and dispatchers, up for more success.
Cybersecurity in Trucking Tech
Cybersecurity issues are impacting more and more fleets. Trucking is a high-target industry for cyber and ransomware attacks, and fleets struggle to combat attacks because solutions are rarely inexpensive.
Historically, the trucking industry has not always been up-to-date on IT and security digital transformation initiatives, especially when compared to other industries, although that is starting to change. In order to avoid organization-wide shutdowns after attacks, fleets will need to prioritize cloud solutions with innate security features when implementing management software.
The U.S. supply chain is straining to keep up with demand and organizations are being forced to do more with fewer resources than ever before. These organizations must leverage technology with automation capabilities in order to alleviate some of the stress on the supply chain. This will lead to a more efficient, productive, and profitable logistics industry.