In today’s competitive transportation industry, you’re either leading the pack or falling behind. The right transportation technology can improve the efficiency of current processes while benefiting your customers. But how do you choose one that can be easily integrated into your operations?
This guide will show you how the latest tech can streamline every aspect of your business.
Why is transportation technology so vital for improving trucking operations?
Technology has long influenced the trucking and transportation industry. For starters, trucking technology can be used to improve the fundamental design of the truck itself, which is why modern trucks are more aerodynamic, fuel efficient and comfortable than models from the past.
But transportation technology has also been used to improve the day-to-day operations of trucking companies and their drivers. More specifically, modern tech has enabled these companies to:
- Achieve greater efficiency through route-planning and navigation tools
- Reduce accidents through lane departure warnings and other safety features
- Monitor operator hours and the condition of vehicles themselves
- Gather, store and analyze data for regulatory compliance
- Defend against false insurance claims using dashcam footage
Together, these benefits can result in greater organizational efficiency and extend the lifespan of each vehicle.
What’s more, these tools can provide greater visibility to customers who depend on the trucking industry to complete their deliveries, giving trucking companies a much-needed competitive edge.
How to choose the right technology to streamline your business
Given the enormous benefits of transportation technology, it’s important to choose the right ones. Here are just a few of the technological advances you can use to improve your operations and your drivers’ experience.
Up-to-date transportation management systems (TMS)
A transportation management system (TMS) is a program or digital tool used to coordinate logistics and transportation. This technology can transform your day-to-day operations by:
- Improving shipping volume forecasts
- Tracking shipments
- Optimizing routes
- Managing administrative data (e.g., invoices, BOLs, etc.)
- Automating routine tasks
- Providing process efficiency insights
- Tracking business expenses
- Storing all data in a centralized location
Trucking companies that use a TMS gain a top-down view of their entire operation. With this data they’re equipped to optimize their route planning and supply chain management strategies.
Innovative telematics and fleet management tools
Fleet management tools offer real-time visibility into existing processes, helping you analyze driver behavior and vehicles’ performance.
For example, an electronic logging device (ELD) is one of the most common forms of fleet telematics in use today. They’re required by law, but they also provide immediate benefits to your business. For example, an ELD allows you to:
- Reduce time spent on paperwork
- Minimize the duration of roadside inspections
- Improve safety by tracking driver habits and fatigue indicators
- Boost CSA scores by minimizing the chance of human error
- Increase fleet efficiency with truck performance monitoring
When used across your fleet, you’ll be better positioned to stay on top of vehicle maintenance and have more control over your operations.
Vehicle gateways with 4G LTE connectivity
Now that every truck is equipped with sophisticated technology, it’s important to ensure that drivers can connect to it. After all, the tools are only as good as the network they run on.
Vehicle gateways must have access to 4G LTE connectivity, which provides the fastest connection speed available for transportation technology. Using 4G-compatible devices ensures that drivers can connect to their apps and devices from anywhere.
Fast connection speed enables you to readily access dashcams and other logging devices, helping you store valuable data in the event of a collision.
Hardware options tailored to your operation
No one knows your business the way you do. That’s why it’s crucial to find technology that fits the needs of you and your drivers. For starters, look for tools that integrate with your trucks via adapters that connect to the dashboard power supply.
You should also consider the potential return on investment of each piece of hardware you use. Think beyond your current operations, taking into account how tools can be used to expand and scale your business.
Simple integration processes
Chances are you’re already using some type of digital system to monitor company finances, plan routes or manage warehouse inventory. You’ll need to find fleet management tools that are compatible with existing platforms.
Many of today’s tools are designed to integrate with other technical systems. Such integration allows you to manage processes and data from one centralized location, providing greater visibility and efficiency.
The future of trucking technology
What does the future hold for trucking tech? Self-driving trucks may still take a while, but the more immediate future will likely bring improved integrations among existing systems. Managers that keep up with technological advances will benefit from increased operational visibility that helps them keep ahead of their competition.
Transportation technology has made trucking safer and more efficient. It offers data that can be used to improve route planning and keep trucks running in peak condition.
The trucking industry has seen improvements from three main devices:
1) Electronic logging devices (ELD), which monitor trucks, drivers and routes
2) Transportation management systems (TMS) that coordinate transportation and logistics
3) Navigational devices for optimized route planning
These devices provide data that helps streamline operations while improving the driver experience.
Trucking companies rely on TMS software to optimize transport routes and identify growth opportunities.
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