By Kirk A. Williams, President & CEO, Proficient Auto Transport
Rapid decision making in real time is critical in the world of supply chain management and in particular, transportation. With orders coming in electronically and the landscape of orders changing by the minute, the ability to take this information in a real time dynamic environment establishes the most efficient method of getting product to the customer and be prepared to change the plan mid to late stream and in the time frame required and/or promised via the most efficient and economical way is crucial to profitability and ultimately survival.
In the world of commercial transportation and trucking in particular, we are still dealing with the human element. The best technology available is still only as good as the user’s ability to take advantage of it. The average commercial truck driver may have a high school diploma, and many do not. In the Auto Transport industry where the driver not only drives the truck but also loads and unloads, they have to be part engineer because each and every load has a different configuration and the value of the cargo is exceptionally high. While the advantages of technology have made driving easier, safer and more comfortable for the driver, the trucking industry has done a poor job of promoting itself as a great and rewarding career path to attract younger talent, and it has been slow to integrate dynamic routing and load building. As an industry we are pretty good at it in a static environment but dynamically not so good.
The Use of GIS within trucking and transportation is taking on an ever increasing and valued role. Aside from obvious in Cab Color Screen GPS for trucks, real time traffic and accident reporting and then automated detour routing designed for trucks. The information is useful to management. There are so many accidents that occur due to detours that are not truck friendly, i.e. low hanging trees, tight turns, heavy traffic, etc. Low hanging trees and low underpasses are the greatest threat to an auto hauler.
For the driver, being able to plan