The future of freight

With Australia in the grip of a truck driver shortage , now is a good time to examine the alternatives to freight as we know it today.

Like any other industry, transport and freight are evolving, with new technology expected to change things in more ways than one. Take a look at some of the forecasts for the future of freight.

 

Advanced telematics

Telematics is the term used to describe the data collected by vehicles on the road.

The more insights and data that can be gathered, the more efficient and safe the truck driving industry will become.

As reported by trucks.com, GPS tracking and telematics data allow organisations to plot asset movements on a dynamic, computerised map and to access both historical and real-time data to view information about fuel consumption, route analytics and idling time. With the help of this data in combination with artificial intelligence, trucking companies can pre-empt maintenance issues to prevent breakdowns and reduce downtime.

Electric vehicles

There are more and more so-called ‘EVs’ on the road and trucks can go electric too.

This is another ‘one to watch’, with the delays in uptake of electric long-haul vehicles in Australia being mainly due to the expense of production and the lack of supportive infrastructure. There needs to be adequate charging stations in the long expanses between major cities before electric trucks can become standard.

With that being said, electric vehicle solutions are already arriving in cities, where smaller vans can be powered by batteries, not combustion fuel engines.

And there are already electric trucks being produced in Australia. Melbourne company SEA Electric announced the launch of volume production of its first locally-assembled electric trucks in early 2021. Orders have already been placed for the vehicles, which can travel for between 200 and 300 kilometres at a time.

Electric trucks will be game-changers for the future of freight; they are quieter, easier to maintain and emit no exhaust fumes. This benefits the driver as well as the population.

 

Delivery by drone

Why travel by road when you can send goods through the skies?

Early drone-delivery technology is focused on the transport of essential, life-saving items such as medication, vaccines and even blood to areas experiencing emergencies. In the US, a human kidney has already been transported by drone.

As technology, infrastructure and regulations evolve, we may just be looking to the skies for items as simple as coffee and lunch. In the UK, one startup has been doing just that, dropping off supermarket items and hot drinks in minutes. Closer to home, Wing Aviation is delivering food, medicine and household items weighing up to 1.2 kgs to some lucky residents in Canberra and Logan in Qld.

These lighter packages are suitable for local deliveries and it will be interesting to see the combination of road freight and drone drop-off in the future for smaller consumer items.


Self-driving trucks

Finally, the ageing truck driver workforce may not be such a problem once the self-driving truck market takes off.

As reported by CBS, autonomous trucking is not an if, it’s a when. Supporters point to these vehicles being more trustworthy than human controllers and able to operate in almost any conditions as the big benefits.

With the future of freight looking very interesting indeed, you need to be connected to a freight agency with its finger on the pulse. New technology will help all businesses to save time, stress and money while continuing to impress their clients.

 

Looking for present-day freight solutions? Contact EFS.