The continued evolution of transportation technology is not only centered on increasing efficiencies and enhancing the performance of individual drivers, vehicles, carriers or shippers - it is also about creating a fully connected and collaborative supply chain for all stakeholders.
These technological advancements are also influencing broader trends such as vendor consolidation as well as shaping how the industry responds to external, global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the distribution of vaccines.
We recently had the opportunity to take part in podcast conversations with two trade outlets, Transport Topics and Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ), to explore the ongoing evolution of transportation technology. Each of these discussions explore what these advancements mean for the industry and for your organization’s connectivity and productivity.
Highlighting M&A Activities in Transportation Technology
As the world of transportation technology advances, so, too, does the trend of consolidation among some of the industry’s major solutions providers.
The continued uptick of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was the focus of a recent conversation on Transport Topics’ RoadSigns podcast. Featuring a discussion between RoadSigns’ Seth Clevenger and James Langley, senior vice president of Trimble Transportation, this podcast episode delved into the reasons behind some of this M&A activity and its impact on making fleets and shippers more collaborative and efficient.
How do you accomplish this? By facilitating connectivity throughout the supply chain, from drivers to back offices to shippers. Through these direct connections, the industry can work together to solve common workflow challenges and make the supply chain more efficient for everyone.
A proof point of this approach is Trimble’s January 2020 acquisition of Kuebix, which brought together Trimble’s network of more than 1.3 million commercial trucks in North America and Kuebix’s extensive shipper community to facilitate streamlined planning, execution and matching of freight demand and available capacity. This acquisition is an extension of Trimble’s other M&A activity in the past decade, including the acquisitions of PeopleNet, TMW Systems, ALK Technologies and 10-4 Systems.
One of the ways that Trimble and Kuebix are delivering on this connected supply chain vision is through Community Load Match, a platform that pairs shippers and carriers who are interested in solving the freight procurement problem by having more visibility and connectivity between each other. By leveraging a single platform, shippers can gain access to available capacity and competitive pricing, while brokers and carriers can increase their business and maximize the utilization of their assets in the lanes that matter to them.
Listen to a replay of this RoadSigns episode below to get more details on M&A trends in the industry and Trimble’s vision for a connected transportation supply chain.
Examining Technology’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Logistics
Advancements in transportation technology have also been vital in helping facilitate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Not only do these vaccines require attention to some of the same logistical details that come with any freight in transit, carriers and shippers also have to ensure they keep the cold chain intact by maintaining the proper temperature for vaccines throughout their journey.
The ins and outs of COVID-19 vaccine logistics were the focus of a recent discussion between CCJ and Trimble’s Chris Orban, vice president of data science.
While the vaccine rollout first started in December 2020, the process has evolved thanks in part to the dedication of transportation industry professionals who have looked to optimize logistical aspects of the distribution.
“The level of stress and level of detail and the level of precision – I think that’s one aspect that’s gone overlooked by the general public,” Orban said.
With vaccine production continuing to increase, Orban also noted that the demands of vaccine distribution could also impact other aspects of the supply chain that may not be directly involved in delivering these doses.
“What opportunities are there for carriers who maybe can’t play in the vaccine transport world?” Orban said. “Do they get to pick up the slack [on] groceries, cosmetics and other loads like that?”
Check out the full episode below to learn more about transportation’s crucial role in vaccine distribution.
How to Stay Ahead of the Industry’s Technology Curve
The evolution of supply chain technology isn’t likely to slow down and it is crucial for your business to understand where technology is headed so that you can maintain a competitive edge and realize tangible improvements in how your business operates.
So where do you begin? It all starts with having the right technology partners to help you navigate these changes and ensure you make the most of them.
Each day, we work with transportation organizations just like yours to utilize technology to increase their connectivity and performance, regardless of where they are in the supply chain.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you keep pace with technology advancements and ensure your continued success, not only in the near-term but in the months and years ahead.