Just like it does with everything nowadays, digitization and AI are making life easier for trucking. And this is definitely a good thing.
Trucking, logistics, and supply chain operators are now employing digital tools that simplify repetitive office tasks. They are utilizing them in the cabs of long haul trucks. In fact, Hub Group which governs a fleet of over 4,000 trucks, just last month revealed a set of artificial-intelligence centered capabilities. These new tools will help ensure more accurate delivery times.
According to Hub Group, the new capabilities can leverage over 10 million data points. Most are produced by interconnected sensors and other technology that Hub Group has been building into its trucks over the last two years.
Vava Dimond, the company’s Chief Information Officer says the overall goal is to utilize as much data as possible. This way deliveries can be more efficient. She believes this, in turn, will juice the company’s productivity level. Additionally, incorporating this technology will make the jobs of truckers simpler.
Dimond says, “For truck drivers, the cab of the vehicle is their office. And that office isn’t conducive to things like paperwork, when it’s raining or the wind is blowing.”
However, with Hub Group’s app, it can track and automatically fill out paperwork. This includes logs along their routes, receipt of delivery notices, as well as other forms. More impressive still, the company created these tools in-house.
Trucking’s Antiquated Systems
What Hub Group has done is in many ways, conscious or not, a response to a Boston Consulting Group report that highlighted the freight industry as being particularly ruled by “manual processes.” They also claimed the industry was overdue for change.
This report mentioned that companies are feeling the heat to update their systems due to disruptive nature of digital shipping startups. Those companies have been gifted with more than 3.3 billion in venture-capital funding since 2012.
It’s clear these more modern, technologically advanced startups are out to snare a piece of the pie of this extremely fragmented market where old school paper and phone systems still rule the day.
So what do you all think? Should more legacy companies like Hub Group innovate in the face of startup competition?