Technology is always changing, and the trucking logistics space is no different. New technologies are being developed and used to help trucking companies better manage their fleets and operations.
In this series (1 of 8) on trucking logistics technology – I'll be highlighting current technologies as well as the opportunities for innovation the space as I outline the current and future ways teams can enter, disrupt or remain well-positioned in the logistics space. My background is not in logistics, but our teams have spent years helping Chicago logistics firms design and develop custom software. Our perspective also benefits from having a pulse for what emerging tech from other industries can be adopted for logistics through our work across a variety of domains. If you'd like to read a case study, you can see some of the award winning work for Echo (see a case study).
To begin this series, we'll keep it simple with a brief outline of the existing systems being used by most major carriers:
Automated dispatching in trucking logistics is the process of routing and scheduling trucks using computer software. This system can automate the process of finding loads, matching them with available trucks, and creating schedules. Automated dispatching can help trucking companies manage their fleets more efficiently and save time and money.
GPS tracking has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of tracking vehicles, and trucking logistics is no different. This technology helps companies keep track of their vehicles, and helps them plan and optimize their routes.
Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now required for all trucks in the United States. These devices track a truck's hours of service and help to ensure that drivers are not working too long or driving too far. As the trucking industry looks for ways to improve safety and efficiency, many companies are turning to electronic logging devices (ELDs). ELDs are devices that track a truck's location, speed, and hours of operation. – in our conversations with drivers this level of tracking was welcomed. More on that later in the series.
Driver safety systems are used to help improve driver safety and compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Driver safety systems can include features such as speed limiters, electronic logbooks, and GPS tracking.
Fleet maintenance systems are used to help manage and monitor the maintenance of vehicles in a fleet. Fleet maintenance systems can help reduce vehicle downtime and improve fleet uptime.
A WMS is a software system that helps manage all aspects of warehouse operations, including receiving, putaway, picking, and shipping. WMS systems can help improve efficiencies and optimize performance by reducing costs, improving asset utilization, and reducing transit times.
A SCM system is a software system that helps manage all aspects of the supply chain, from procurement to manufacturing to distribution. SCM systems can help improve efficiencies and optimize performance by reducing costs, improving asset utilization, and reducing transit times.
That's a brief overview of the types of systems (and acronyms) you'll come across in the industry. In the next post, we'll be taking a deep dive into automated dispatching: how it works, the pros and cons, and looking at why it might make sense to create a custom software solution for your team.
Expect a response within 1-2 business days.