How Much Will Autonomy Affect Logistics Management?
Carriers have to cut costs any way they can. But buying fuel regularly, meeting regulatory compliance, and keeping a full staff of talented drivers can be expensive. Thankfully, logistics management makes it easier for trucking companies to stay ahead financially.
Planning out routes carefully means getting the greatest maximum return on every trip. In short, this means cutting costs. More specifically, it means minimizing the amount of resources needed for a journey and maximizing the number of deliveries possible.
The topic of driverless vehicles continues to gain popularity in the industry. With big tech names throwing in money and prototypes already on some roadways, the driverless revolution may be in full swing sooner rather than later.
While job security has always been a fear when this topic is brought up, machines aren’t poised to replace human drivers in the near future. While autonomous trucks may be used to make deliveries, humans will still be needed for some time to come. In addition, the move toward autonomous vehicles may be helpful for ending the driver shortage – which is currently estimated to be nearing 250,000.
Driverless trucks give carriers a chance to reduce expenses in the long-term. This could also mean big changes in the way logistics management is handled. Talented administrators and high-end software are both great for helping carriers be smart with their resources. Even with autonomous vehicles, carriers will still need to plan out routes carefully. However, it is likely that the role of logistics management may become modified to catch up with the new technology.
Just as drivers may be tasked with piloting a rig until it arrives at specially-made infrastructure, logistics pros will need to factor these elements into their plan. Doing so will provide new challenges, but will also help carriers get the most out of this technology once it is mainstream.
A big switch like this will undoubtedly have a major and lasting impact on the freight industry. While drivers will be exploring new roles as the technology is adopted more prominently, logistics professionals will follow a similar path.
Even with driverless trucks, maintaining efficiency is important for any carrier. Just like truckers, logistics managers are watching the autonomy trend very carefully.