Freight News, Road

Truckers ponder tech transformation

[ April 12, 2018   //   ]

The rise of new market entrants and the impact of automation are beginning to challenge European transport operators’ traditional concerns about fuel costs and environmental and regulatory constraints, according to research by the International Road Transport Union.

The road haulage operators’ grouping said that two in five respondents cite autonomous vehicles, and one in four digital service platforms and new transport providers, as the most important changes impacting their businesses over the next 5-10 years. But only 20% see delivery drones as having a significant effect, IRU added.

However, the data shows that traditional concerns about the cost of fuel (50%) and environmental and regulatory constraints (60%) remain.

More than a quarter of respondents (28%) saw digital as a solution for helping overcome the ongoing driver shortage in the industry, but one in three respondents (32%) do not believe driverless trucks will future proof the industry by alleviating the driver shortage, and 42% remain unsure of their impact.

Speaking at the IRU Logistics & Innovation Solutions event in Amsterdam on 12 April, IRU’s global innovation lead, Zeljko Jeftic, commented: “The transport industry is undergoing a period of immense change, so it is encouraging to see the majority of operators embracing technology and investing in digital solutions. The path to driverless trucks and delivery drones is underway, but requires digital foundations. What we are witnessing today is an industry predominantly looking to use technology to solve basic operational challenges, such as moving to digital documentation and improving traceability, security and efficiency.”