Vlad Kadurin, chief product and operations officer at Ship.Cars. - Image: HDT Graphic

Vlad Kadurin, chief product and operations officer at Ship.Cars.

Image: HDT Graphic

In today’s digital age, a wave of innovation is surging through nearly every sector. The trucking industry is no exception. Artificial intelligence combined with machine-learning algorithms are finally harnessing the data trucking companies have been collecting for years.

This no-longer dormant data is now being transformed into actionable insights that are improving efficiencies, streaming workflows, and ultimately increasing profits.

While advancements like Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, electric vehicles and autonomous technologies are capturing the most attention, a quiet revolution is happening behind the scenes.

Six Trucking Technology Trends to Consider

Here are six ways back-end technologies are having arguably an even greater impact on the trucking industry:

  1. Conquering Empty Miles: Deadhead miles — those empty stretches between loads — eat into trucking profits by requiring time and mileage without the benefit of an invoice upon delivery. Load-matching platforms with sophisticated algorithms connect trucks with return loads, significantly reducing empty miles and maximizing resource utilization.
  2. Smarter Routes, Less Time on the Road: Inefficient routing translates into wasted time and fuel. Dynamic routing software powered by AI can optimize routes in real time, taking into consideration traffic patterns, weather conditions and road closures. This not only minimizes those deadhead miles but also ensures timely deliveries.
  3. Forecasting Demand for Strategic Positioning: Predicting demand has often been a guessing game. Now, predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms are changing that by forecasting demand so trucking companies can proactively position their trucks in areas with high freight volume. With strategic deployment, carriers can maximize profitability.
  4. Streamlining Operations with Real-Time Data: Operational inefficiencies can cripple a trucking business. Modern Transportation Management Systems (TMS) provide real-time data and GPS tracking capabilities. This eliminates duplicative workflows, identifies bottlenecks in processes, and streamlines operations.
  5. Enhanced Collaboration with Shippers: Communication gaps between carriers and shippers can lead to delays and frustration. A robust TMS system facilitates seamless customer relationship management with a comprehensive dashboard and digital documentation for easy sharing and record keeping. This fosters collaboration, improves communication, and ensures everyone is on the same page.
  6. Data-Driven Decisions for Continuous Improvement: Intuition can only take you so far. Data-driven decision-making, powered by advanced analytics and predictive modeling, empowers trucking companies to optimize their fleets for peak performance. In the simplest of terms, this could be staggering maintenance schedules so your fleet is never out of commission while still following the manufacturer’s guidelines for service. This results in improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, and ultimately, increased profitability.

No Longer Optional

Technology is no longer an option in the trucking industry — it’s a necessity. Manually managing even a small fleet of carriers requires flawless processes and seamless execution. An additional truck, weather event or unexpected maintenance can quickly turn manageable operations into chaos. However, technology provides the tools to maintain control while improving efficiency and profits.

The future of this industry belongs to those who embrace the opportunities that technology offers. By fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, carriers can tackle the challenges of adopting new technology head-on and remain competitive.

Vlad Kadurin is chief product and operations officer of auto logistics technology provider Ship.Cars, which offers a TMS transportation management system for auto haulers. This article was authored and edited according to Heavy Duty Trucking’s editorial standards and style to provide useful information to our readers. Opinions expressed may not reflect those of HDT.