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Rail Technology Supports Safe, Efficient Transportation Performance

By Jamie Boychuk, Executive Vice...

Rail Technology Supports Safe,...

Your Next Transportation Management System: TMS 2.0

By Mike Dieter, CTO, Transplace

Your Next Transportation Management...

A New Transportation Mode is Swiftly Arriving: What it Means for the Future of Auto

By Gary A Silberg, Head of Automotive, KPMG LLP

A New Transportation Mode is Swiftly...

Unfolding the Future of Connection - Internet of Things

By Joseph Wei, President, SJW Consulting, Inc

Unfolding the Future of Connection -...

The Evolving Technology Prongs of Transportation Management

By Michael Bartz, Vice President, Information Technology, ReTrans

The Evolving Technology Prongs of Transportation ManagementMichael Bartz, Vice President, Information Technology, ReTrans

The world of common carrier transportation and the software that drives it is undergoing an increasingly rapid period of transformation. The sphere of transportation management software is riding the wave of the changes in mobile communication, miniaturization of consumer electronics, and the mainstream adaption of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Long gone are the days where the most important information technology issue in the back office was the “speed and feeds” of EDI. These changes and innovations are affecting every area of transportation software and process as follows: • In the back office,

• In the tractor and trailer,
• In the product,
• “In” the route.

Scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) has been slowly building as a capability to stem the tide of paper (or PDF) invoices and receipts. The marriage of machine learning with OCR, however, in the last few years makes the application of a totally paperless invoicing and financial settlement possible. His project should be at the top of every CIO’s “must do” list if it is not done already.

 It delivers on personnel efficiency, data accuracy, and cash flow management.

The spread of Internet of Things (IoT) devicesand the promise of 5g mobile cellular are driving changes not only in the tractor and trailer, but also in the commodities and products being transported. Federally prompted electronic driver logging and the ubiquity of GPS-enabled smart phones provide better visibility into the when and where of a carrier’s assets, both human and machine. In addition, smart phone-enabled tractor and engine monitoring devices are adding another layer of safety and reliability for both the carriers and the drivers. Better sensors and ultra-wide band data networks are providing an opportunity to monitor in-transit commodity for both environmental safety and physical security. It goes without saying that mobile data networking provides a solid foundation for route visibility and real-time monitoring of assets.

So, these sensors, cell phones and networks produce mountains of data, but to what end? How can an IT team make sense of this data and deliver meaningful results to operational units of their companies? I see several trends and needs. One is better marketplace decisions based on seeing carrier availability. You are seeing many variations of brokering tools and disintermediation services (see Uber Freight) that join route and asset availability. These tools will yield a more aggressive, but transparent market. Here is also a rising class of service providers that are augmenting traditional EDI services with real-time monitoring. The only word of caution is that aggregation of all this carrier from the swath of small-tomedium carriers is not guaranteed, especially if you depend solely on securing access of driver’s cell phones.  

His project should be at the top of every CIO’s “must do” list if it is not done already. It delivers on personnel efficiency, data accuracy, and cash flow management.

The spread of Internet of Things (IoT) devicesand the promise of 5g mobile cellular are driving changes not only in the tractor and trailer, but also in the commodities and products being transported. Federally prompted electronic driver logging and the ubiquity of GPS-enabled smart phones provide better visibility into the when and where of a carrier’s assets, both human and machine. In addition, smart phone-enabled tractor and engine monitoring devices are adding another layer of safety and reliability for both the carriers and the drivers. Better sensors and ultra-wide band data networks are providing an opportunity to monitor in-transit commodity for both environmental safety and physical security. It goes without saying that mobile data networking provides a solid foundation for route visibility and real-time monitoring of assets.

So, these sensors, cell phones and networks produce mountains of data, but to what end? How can an IT team make sense of this data and deliver meaningful results to operational units of their companies? I see several trends and needs. One is better marketplace decisions based on seeing carrier availability. You are seeing many variations of brokering tools and disintermediation services (see Uber Freight) that join route and asset availability. These tools will yield a more aggressive, but transparent market. Here is also a rising class of service providers that are augmenting traditional EDI services with real-time monitoring. The only word of caution is that aggregation of all this carrier from the swath of small-tomedium carriers is not guaranteed, especially if you depend solely on securing access of driver’s cell phones.

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