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Transportation Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

Fundamentally, the transportation industry has not changed. Engines are pretty well the same as they were in the time of Henry Ford. What has changed is the landscape that companies have to navigate now.

With technological advancement, transportation companies have had to adapt and innovate with the changing business environment. Management systems help them keep track of their business, mobile technologies keep them connected no matter where they go and real-time tracking lets them predict and adjust for last minute changes.

As technology becomes integrated even further into our daily lives, it also begins to permeate our business worlds. Within transportation, here are five advancements to look for in 2017.

Dynamic Pricing

As transportation companies increasingly implement APIs (Application Program Interfaces) that allow data exchange between 3PL’s, brokers, carriers, shippers and receivers, they are able to better respond to changing market demands and adjust their pricing in real-time. This idea of dynamic pricing was introduced in 2015, and has since been slowly permeating the transportation industry. In 2017, companies can expect to see this approach, combined with tracking and analytics, used to maximize efficiency and better meet customer needs.

The Impact of Automation

Automation is nothing new to the world of transportation. There is a constant battle that requires these companies to consistently find new and different ways to speed up their billing, payroll and maintenance processes. In 2017, not only can companies expect to see an increase in automation software systems, but it will also see autonomous vehicles on the roads, too. While there isn’t an expectation that these vehicles will take over the industry, companies can take a page from how they work and see how they can use in-truck automation.

Real-time 24/7 Tracking

Visibility and transparency are two concepts on the minds of consumers, shippers and vendors. They want to know where their products are, where they’re going, when they’ll be at their destination and every other detail possible to monitor. In 2017, businesses will expect the same kind of visibility from transportation companies as they are used to from Amazon.

Cloud-Based Management Systems

Management systems are shifting from installed solutions to web-based, cloud solutions. This shift is beneficial for software and transportation companies. Because information is moving to cloud servers instead of on premise servers, drivers can access and send information while out on runs. It also makes the visibility that customers are asking for easier to deliver. Expect to see more and more companies shift to cloud-based solutions in 2017 as they adapt with changing technological environments.

Changing Regulations

A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate in a decision on Oct. 31. This new regulation requires electronic logging devices in all commercial motor carriers, effective December 2017. These types of regulation changes are nothing new within the transportation industry, but it is imperative that companies stay on top of them, especially considering they are now addressing technology concerns.

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