In this week’s edition, data takes the driver’s seat, Walmart tries to figure out ecommerce, and California is on beer patrol. To get future editions of Freight News in Cartoons sent directly to your inbox, subscribe here.
Any mentions of “big data” or “data driven” are likely to get a few eyerolls these days. Like all good buzzwords, they’ve been overused and abused.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s happening right now in the transportation and logistics industry. Every day more and more companies are doing new and innovative things with the data they collect, cleanse, analyze and operationalize.
Convoy’s recent announcement about automatic reloading is one notable example. Now when a carrier or owner-operator books a load on their app, they’re also offered a package of additional loads that have been customized based on their preferences, hours-of-service, location, wait times, and so forth. The goal is to minimize the time carriers spend looking for loads, to reduce deadhead miles, and to work toward the vision of “perpetual loads,” according to Ziad Ismail, the Chief Product Officer at Convoy.
The Senior Director of Uber Freight, Bill Driegert, also recently offered his vision of how on-demand freight is poised to transform logistics. You might not agree with everything he has to say about what the future has in store, but it will certainly give you something to think about.
Finally, there was a great piece from Greg Miller, a Senior Editor at FreightWaves, covering some recent developments at CargoMetrics. From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand all the ins and outs of the business models discussed, but two quotes from CargoMetric’s CEO, Scott Borgerson, give new meaning to big data and data driven.
“The billion pieces of unique information a day – that’s a huge milestone for us.” That’s billions with a B that they’re now capturing every day. And… “Headcount is not the right measure. The right measure is the volume of data consumed and the efficiency with which it’s processed and the way we’ve optimized the algorithms and quantitative systems.”
Can you imagine a CEO saying that in 1999? Times have changed.
According to some recent coverage, tensions are rising internally at Walmart over their ecommerce strategy. The acquisition of Jet.com hasn’t exactly gone to plan, with the ecommerce division projected to lose over $1 billion this year, and the CEO and board aren’t exactly thrilled. It just goes to show how difficult it is to adapt to change, especially while remaining profitable.
Luckily, Walmart seems to be having more luck transitioning to a semi-autonomous world, announcing a new trial of self-driving Ford delivery vans outfitted with a system from Gatik. The goal is to eventually cut Walmart’s middle-mile shipping costs in half using driverless vans to handle the warehouse-to-warehouse routes or “milk runs.”
The trial is yet another example of what FreightWaves Freight Intel Group is calling an “Evolution not Revolution” in autonomy. The report predicts level 4 or 5 autonomous trucks are at least 10 years away, if not 20 or 30, mostly due to slow regulation and adoption, and that there will be many intermediate stages along the way involving level 2 and 3 systems.
In other news, the California Air Resources Board fined Anheuser-Busch $500k for failing to properly inspect 19 diesel trucks to ensure they met smoke emission standards and the FMCSA’s proposed changes to the Hours-of-Service rule have been postponed until July 31st.
The Truckload Carriers Association and the Trucking Alliance announced their support for “The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019,” which will require new trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds to have speed limiters set at a maximum of 65 mph. The bill is being praised as a good measure to take for increasing both safety and fuel efficiency.
And finally, there were some great pieces promoting women’s role in trucking over the past couple weeks. FleetOwner ran a great series and Today’s Trucking ran a father-daughter story on a customer here at Microdea—Andy’s Transport. The article included an awesome quote from Andreea Crisan, the COO and executive VP, that I thought was worth sharing: “We don’t hire people to drive trucks. We buy trucks to hire and grow our people.”
Great way to look at it, if you ask me.
Steele Roddick is a Content Specialist at Microdea where he creates content that helps transportation companies drive their business forward. He’s endlessly fascinated by technology trends, chess, and discovering new places to travel with his wife.