This week I attended a conference in Seattle of the Intelligent Transportation Society. This one was a little bit outside the normal for me, since it was focused on travel options in urban areas for passengers. However, they did make a few references to trucks and freight, since what we do affects the traffic in the city. In fact, in preparation for the ATA MC&E meeting, I’m getting input from fleet executives on the possibility of making more deliveries between 6PM and 6AM, during the evening and night, to relieve the congestion during the day. If you’ve got an opinion or thought on this, let me know through the IdeaXchange.
The title this week comes from an old response my family from the Midwest would use when asked how we are doing—we’d say we were "fat and sassy," which generally meant we were well off and happy. Let’s hope our industry is the same. Many of you may recognize SaaS as the latest logo/acronym for cloud based IT and software services—Software as a Service. It’s got great potential to make parts of our business life easier such as updating software to fix bugs, making applications available anywhere on mobile devices, and being available to smaller companies. Of course, that means greater opportunities for competition, as well.
Now, in the area of urban transit, we have a new acronym that is partially enabled by the cloud. It used to be called Mass Transit for the concept of transporting massive numbers of people. Well, time to think again. Now it’s MaaS Transit is for Mobility as a Service. With bike sharing, car sharing, ride sharing and on-demand options for mobility, concepts are changing. Imagine a city shutting down its bus service at night because it is cheaper for the city, less expensive for the low-income person and better for the environment for the citizen to punch up Uber or Lyft on a smartphone.
In the trucking industry, we are all about freight movement on demand. I can recall a long time ago, having to move a sentimental sewing machine from my wife’s parent’s home to ours and contracting with ABF to get it moved (do they still take such a small job as that?). We have bulk, container, tanker type loads. We’ve got TruckLoad and Less-than-TruckLoad, parcel and courier companies. We deliver same day, overnight, guaranteed and tracked. We’ve got every option imaginable and lots of technology to enable it—more so than the ride sharing companies with load boards, fleet management systems, financial systems and government regulations. We have even more types of delivery in the offing with drones and autonomous vehicles. So, we need our own new term for all this. I call it FaaST for Freight as a Service Technology.
So, all is good with me. I’m FaaST and SaaSy with freight MaaS.