Are phone calls, faxes and e-mail going the way of the 8-track tape and Walkman in the logistics industry? That’s a question tackled by Jim Bramlett, uShip’s GM of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) freight in an opinion piece published by Transport Topics this week. Read the full article here.
In Jim’s opinion, the short answer is “not yet,” though he emphasizes that things are changing quickly. As a key example, Jim offers candid advice for freight brokers: “See the forest despite the trees in the way.” While he acknowledges that some brokers remain convinced that phone, fax and e-mail will always be the primary methods of communication in the industry — and therefore, the primary source of new business — he agrees to disagree. Solutions are coming that will make freight brokering work and the process behind covering loads faster, smoother and more profitable.
Jim believes that an upcoming technological “tipping point” could drastically change the way the transportation industry works. In so many words, he explains that tech-resistant freight organizations could one day wake up to a completely different competitive landscape. Case in point: Blockbuster Video and its well-documented decline in the 2000’s.
Jim goes on to explain that cloud-based technologies, automation and real-time data will bring rapid transformation the freight industry. Here are the five trends he mentions could bring the tech “tipping point” around sooner than expected in the freight industry:
- Cloud-based business solutions
- Big data
- Preferred networks of carriers
- Spot-market pricing
- In-cab mobile technology: smartphones, tablets, GPS, and push notifications.
Bramlett closes the piece by encouraging industry stakeholders to look into the future: “Contrarians in freight will say that technology’s true impact on our industry has not yet been felt — and they’re right. However, with history as our guide, it’s clear that when we reach that technological tipping point, the effects will be swift.”
Let us know in the comments – How do you see tech transforming freight?