This marks the 11th year that we’ve devoted the majority of our November pages to the most dominant—and most complex—mode of transportation: motor freight.
And while there’s no question that the better part of the last two years has thrown a wrench in the works for both shippers and carriers, the editors at LM believe that the adversity will undoubtedly yield some progress when we reach the other side—especially on the technology front.
“With the ongoing driver shortage amid booming e-commerce demand, capacity remains the No. 1 issue across the board,” says contributing editor Bridget McCrea, the author of this month’s cover story. “But, in the long run, this is a good thing, as both shippers and carriers know they need to get faster and smarter in making these vital connections.”
And considering that the American Trucking Associations is forecasting that the driver shortage will nearly triple by 2028, the idea of carriers throwing more equipment at the issue is a non-starter.
As McCrea reports this month (page 20), all parties involved in motor freight logistics are now fully aware that they need to accelerate their adoption of technology to fine-tune and streamline what has become the most strained freight transportation network in history. “In fact, those next generation technologies we’ve been writing about are no longer just concepts,” she says. “They exist and are being put to work.”
We’re now hearing about Artificial Intelligence being routinely applied to help shippers gather data faster to improve decision-making on the fly; digital twins are being put to work by carriers to monitor fleets; and the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors are tracking container locations and conditions en route so that shippers can notify customers of delays.
“This technology is working, and it’s helping carriers identify and work around issues like weather and traffic conditions, all of which can add minutes, hours and days to delivery schedules if left unmonitored,” adds McCrea. “It was all coming our way, but as our technology
analysts share with us this month, the ‘great disruption’ has pushed it along—and that’s good.”
And while shippers are becoming more familiar with the back-office benefits of improved visibility through technology, we’re also finding that they’re more receptive to turning to digital freight matching (DFM) platforms to find precious capacity in a pinch.
Starting on page 28, group news editor Jeff Berman gathers a panel of three top technology and third-party logistics analysts in our Digital Freight Matching …….