Driving Change: 5 Innovations Highlighted In Trucking News 

New technologies are advancing the trucking business, such as electric and autonomous cars, platooning, big data, and integrated logistics systems. Analytics have made the supply chain more efficient, and the industry is aware that smart solutions have fundamentally altered the global transportation of commodities. According to studies, dispatchers may now handle as many as fifty to one hundred cars per operator, up from ten to fifteen, thanks to a transition from “paperless” to “clickless” interfaces that drastically reduce the time spent manually entering data. 

This seems to be why innovation and big data will alter the rules. Global powerhouses like Scania, Kuehne + Nagel, and Geodis are already optimizing logistics with data-driven and tech-driven solutions. 

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Not only may these technologies make trucking firms more efficient in delivering goods and services, but they are also helping to alleviate problems with labor and finances. Among the 108 carriers and brokers polled, over half identified driver, sales, and back-office staff recruitment and retention as their top hiring and retention problems for 2023. Priorities to weather the storm include improving contact with current customers and delivering top-notch service. 

Here are five emerging trucker news and trends in technology and innovation that are improving efficiency and shaking up the trucking industry: 

1. Truck-as-a-Service offered by Mack 

Commercial vehicle subscription pricing has been mooted for a while, but Mack Trucks is now implementing it. Mack’s “all-inclusive, usage-based” financing solution, ElectriFi, began operations this year in the United States, bringing stability to the emerging market for electric commercial vehicles. 

Customers will not be charged outright for the vehicle but rather a set monthly fee determined by usage. A cheaper monthly charge is associated with a truck used more frequently. It helps fleets overcome the biggest hurdle to electric vehicle adoption—the uncertain operational cost—and encourages usage.  

You can choose from three to six-year plans, and the monthly rate will be automatically adjusted according to your usage throughout the contract. Mack has not yet announced when the service will be available in Canada, but it is in the works. 

2. The exclusion of rare earth metals from ZF’s electric motor 

Continuing with the topic of EVs, ZF has created an EV motor that doesn’t use magnets, allowing its construction to be free of rare earth metals. It asserts that this is achieved while maintaining high performance. Because rare earth metals are frequently mined in questionable ways, this is a huge step forward for the electric vehicle movement. 

If ZF’s electric motors don’t use magnets, the company claims it can cut its carbon footprint in half. At the September IAA Mobility Show in Munich, Germany, ZF board member for the United States Martin Fischer proclaimed, “It’s a big step forward that’s going to help make e-mobility more sustainable.”  

3. Affordability of electric vehicle wireless charging 

The Toronto-based company eLeapPower has developed a more cost-effective method of wireless charging for EVs, especially trucks that don’t have enough room for regular chargers. When loading and unloading, the truck is placed on top of a floor mat to facilitate charging at the dock or closer parking. Due to its high initial cost, wireless charging has been sluggish in gaining traction; however, eLeapPower’s innovative design reduced that cost by 30%. 

As the trucks return to the conveyor, the drivers load them with packages. There isn’t much room between the vehicles when they’re lined up. Just where is your plug-in charger supposed to go? They create a tripping hazard. Therefore, you can’t position them in the back. “The concept is that we position the floor pads towards the back of the vehicles,” clarified Brent Fitch, director of business development and owner of a fleet of final-mile trucks. 

4. The Internet of Things and telematics are interconnected. 

With improved position tracking, environmental sensing, fleet management, and supply-demand balancing, it’s clear why the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving innovation in the trucking industry. In short, it’s superior. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interconnected computing equipment, mobile devices, and home appliances that can exchange and process data electronically. For instance, the truck’s tire pressure and load stability can be tracked via sensors strategically placed throughout the vehicle. Carrier and shipper decision-makers will have even more data to work with thanks to Kratos-developed semi-autonomous and platooned truck systems.  

By exchanging data in this way, supply chain management can be enhanced, and the need for human intervention can be reduced. Regardless of fleet size, Penske finds high telematics adoption: To increase productivity, decrease expenses, and strengthen safety, 54% of big fleets, 51% of medium fleets, and 37% of smaller fleets use the technology.  

One of the most prominent logistics firms in the world is Kuehne + Nagel. Thanks to sensors and a cloud-based platform, shippers can now get up-to-the-minute updates on the whereabouts and state of mission-critical cargo. Their product integrates the Internet of Things (IoT) with freight monitoring, alerting customers to temperature, humidity, pressure, shock, and tilt changes at the pallet or parcel level. 

5. Boost in innovation because of big data analytics. 

One must not underestimate the significance of the connection between big data and effective delivery. Due to real-time data analysis and accurate location updates, the supply chain is undergoing a revolutionary transformation.  

Logistics isn’t usually known for having high-quality data, which is a problem for firms using big data. Luckily, data quality may be greatly improved using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, which can clean and enhance the data. Companies may manage their operations proactively, concentrating on future performance rather than past expectations, and make extremely accurate shipping volume forecasts using Big Data and AI. 

In the end! 

This is the most significant technological change in the trucking industry since truck refrigeration was introduced in 1930. This sector now sees the light after years of inaction: the opportunities presented by technological advancements. Innovations such as digital brokerage and self-driving trucks are still in their infancy but are quickly becoming mainstream. Emerging technologies are bound to be widely used in the worldwide transportation industry due to rising workforce issues and sustainability concerns.   

Data-based logistics and automation are on the rise among fleet operators looking to upgrade from antiquated methods. The technologies are still maturing and subject to regulatory concerns, but the transformative benefits they offer guarantee that trucks will continue to be the primary means of transporting products for the time being.  

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