October 21 this week was ‘Back to the Future’ day. I celebrated a day early by talking about the future of trucking at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition. You can view the presentations on my website: Vision and Opportunities in Truck Transportation.
The industry is constantly adapting to changes in the world around us to improve safety, productivity and fuel consumption. We are all part of making sure that Trucking Moves America Forward. A day earlier, former General Stanley McChrystal talked about his latest book, Team of Teams, and how he had to adapt information flow and management hierarchy in the military to respond to terrorists and technology that flattened information flow. It was a great lead-in to how our industry has adapted to technology and society in the last 125 years.
IoT, the Internet of Things was discussed as information is so pervasive now. I think this should be Information on Trucking (IoT), instead. Our path to improved safety, productivity and fuel consumption is based on getting real-time information from our trucks, our shippers, our consignees, our drivers and everyone involved in moving freight. It is fault codes on engines prescreened by experts in a call center, hours of service information intended to keep drivers alert, camera information to help a driver see his rig with a bird’s eye view in its environment, and a signature on shipping documents transmitted immediately and electronically to reduce accounts payable.
There is no going back. We can only move forward to the future, accepting its many challenges. We must deliver the freight!