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Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is from our friend, Rachel Everly, a freelance writer in business and finance who shows us how digitized trucking will change the game for logistics companies. 

Welcome to the Grand Era of Digitized Trucking! 

Imagine that you own a truck and you receive an order from a soft drink manufacturer in Missouri to transport around 5000 kilograms of freight. The order states that you leave Missouri with the 5000 kilograms, drop 2000 kilograms in New York, then head towards Atlanta and drop around 1800 kilograms there and finally, the remaining 1200 kilograms need to be dropped in Washington. See a problem there? Is there something that can be improved there? Certainly, Yes and that is, filling up the wasted capacity.  

The truck, after dropping off 2000 kilograms in New York, will be left with empty space that can be filled up if we could somehow find out if someone needs around 2000 kilograms of freight cargo to be transported from New York to Atlanta on the same day. If this could happen, the trucker would earn some money and the shipper would benefit due to a lower shipment price because the journey has been partially paid for.  

Now imagine that, if we could combine all of the trucks in the national transportation grid to a similar system, how much benefit could we ensure by allowing for more synergy in realizing efficiencies on a massive scale for both, truckers and shipper? Unprecedented is the perfect word to describe the gigantic scale of such benefits, and the best part is that it’s not imagination anymore, it’s a fast become reality titled “Digital Trucking”. 

Just as the arrival of Hybrid electric cars has been a complete game changer for automobile manufacturing industry, digital trucking is ready to change the way freight is transported forever. The introduction of digitized trucking marks the beginning of a new era and is set to turn the logistics value chain upside down. 

“The current logistics chain is dependent on several different, clearly distinct market players, from the OEMs that build the truck, to the fleet operators that deploy the trucks, to the logistics providers that organize the shipping of goods, to the end customer. The coming changes in truck technology and logistics processes within the global trend towards digitization will have a profound effect on how the chain is organized, with some players increasing their roles and others disappearing completely,” states PwC in “The era of the digitized truck: Transforming the logistics value chain.” 

This combination of modern technology shall help move trucks down the road, improve efficiency, promote safety and improve functionality through the help of remote integration & maintenance. 

Digitized trucking is driving the global logistics industry on the route to a better future and changing the logistics value chain. Here’s how: 

Increases integration of trucks in the logistics chain 

Recent advancements in technology such as the use of digitized trucking promote an increase in the integration of trucks in the logistics chain. With the help of digital trucking, trucks will be able to have real-time data on shipping needs, from the arrival of shipments to factories warehouses and customers in a timely manner to offering complete transparency in terms of tracking whereabouts of goods, every single data metric will be available, allowing the system to serve in a much better way that was previously possible.  

Use of large distribution hubs 

With the introduction of digitized trucking, trucks shall be driven by in the majority of hub-to-hub routes without little-to-no human interaction and shall ensure that large distributions hubs become very common.  

The rate of utilization shall increase 

Software platforms are set to bridge connection, with trucks being able to communicate details about their contents and their destination with other trucks through software that shall automatically match trucks with shipments that offer maximum value and a complete and profitable utilization of the vehicle. 

Faster transfer of goods in and out of distribution centers 

Digitized trucking shall enable a faster transfer of goods in and out of distribution centers. This latest innovation shall ensure a significant reduction in the amount of time goods are stored in distribution centers whilst waiting to be delivered.   

Boosts efficiency 

The use of digitized trucking promotes efficiency. Software controlling the health and repair of the truck shall ensure that performance remains on par and that goods are delivered efficiently.  

Digitized trucking is set to completely revolutionize the way the logistics chain operates. Sandeep Kar vice president for research and mobility from Frost & Sullivan emphasizes on how this technology shall transform the way the trucking industry operates. He says, “For the longest time in this industry, it was all about the product; it was all about the truck and businesses were built around the truck.” 

“But services are now dictating how a truck should be designed. As the old saying goes: products cost money [while] services make money. We are on the cusp of that change in the commercial vehicle industry between products and services, with the industry now moving more toward services.” 

“By 2025, 63.5 million trucks will be connected globally,” and that “Digital freight solutions and open telematics technology will transform the trucking industry into a smarter, efficient, and productive sector.” 

The advances in the system that digital trucking would allow, will help more people to own fleets, drive down the prices of goods and make delivery times much more responsive and efficient, powering a much-awaited revolution in the trucking and transportation arena forward.