The trucking industry is undergoing its greatest period of change since deregulation, says Ray Greer, the chief executive officer of Omnitracs.
As Today’s Trucking reports from the company’s fourth Outlook user conference in Nashville:
“Every cab will have a computer in it, and that computer is going to lead to a convergence of connected devices,” he said, kicking off the event. “It’s in my mind one of the most rapid-changing, transformational times in trucking.”
The underlying technology has certainly changed, and not exclusively with a recent mandate for electronic logging devices in the U.S.
“The pace of acceleration is phenomenal,” Greer said, referring to changes that have come in the company’s history. Three decades ago just 60,000 computers were connected to the internet, 15% of households had computers, and digital cell phone technology was just emerging. “We’ve come a long way.”
Today, discussions focus on issues like autonomous trucks, and “omni channels” that will see e-commerce driving the supply chains between brick-and-mortar operations and shipments to homes.
While carriers have been matched to shippers and their freight for many years, it’s becoming increasingly digital through what has become known as the “uberization” of freight. And how is big data going to push us closer to artificial intelligence, he asked.
“The industry is — just in this period of time — under great change.”