For carriers in the LTL (less-than-truckload) industry, new trucking technologies are about to provide a significant advantage. Technology, which has disrupted just about every other industry, is finally gaining a foothold in the trucking industry. The evolution has been slow, but steady — until receiving a major push from the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020.
In a Transformation Conference webinar — “LTL 2025: Future of LTL Operations and How to Prepare for It” — hosted by Axele’s founder, Optym, executives from major carriers discussed their efforts and expectations with regard to trucking technologies.
The conference was moderated by Optym CEO Ravi Ahuja, and featured a keynote presentation from Nate D. Wells III, Senior Vice President, Operation Planning & Engineering, XPO Logistics.
Also offering their insight during a wide-ranging Q&A session were Webb Estes VP, Process Improvement, Estes Express; Jack Levis, former Senior Director, Process Planning, UPS; Charlie Prickett, Chief Operating Officer, AAA Cooper; Patrick Sugar VP, Linehaul & Engineering, Saia; and Scott Ware, Chief Network Officer, YRC Worldwide.
Key Points on New Trucking Technologies
Key takeaways from the conference, which can be seen in full here, include:
- Carriers are finding that operating costs can be reduced by 3-5% through the implementation of state-of-the-art software in areas such as Pickup & Delivery, Linehaul, and Dock & Yards, according to Wells
- Based on discussions with executives from leading carriers, while the pace of technology implementation is getting better, it needs to speed up further, according to Ahuja.
- Operational efficiencies will be gained by improvements in data infrastructure, data analytics, automation and route planning optimization, according to Wells.
- In pickup and delivery, better “route optimization” can create a 5% reduction in cost. Traditional but inefficient approaches, such as zip-code based routing, will be eliminated as both technology and the industry’s mentality continue to evolve.
- Being able to optimize and maximize loads in the line-haul space creates what looks like a small improvement — 2-4% — but over the thousands of miles significant savings add up, says Webb.
- Future of trucking is “and,” says Levis. Timely, safely and cost-effectively is the new expectation from shippers. Carriers need four things to truly drive improvements: 1.) High definition data that tells carriers where things are headed tomorrow; 2.) Good operations technology to let front-line users; 3.) Advanced optimization technology to drive 6-12% efficiencies; 4.) and leadership that understands change management.
Stay tuned for your opportunity to attend future Transformation Conference webinars in 2021.