Today’s Pickup: Technology offers solutions to driver retention; blockchain keeps us healthy

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Technology, driver retention, and strong Q1 numbers are dominating the transportation headlines. These are seemingly very separate topics, but looking closely this is a formula to trucking success. Technology and transportation has not always been so closely tied together as it is currently. With companies like Uber Freight getting a lot of the attention due to the popularity with their driver app, their are hundreds of companies investing in technology like Volvo Trucks, who is still focused on creating a better experience for the driver by improving on the existing designs. 

Trucking companies should not lose focus on the driver as they are still the main cog in their engine. Savvy companies know this and are utilizing technology to help solve retention issues which will inevitably lead to strong quarters.

Did you know?

According to DriveriQ Recruitment & Retention Survey 56% of the drivers cited total compensation as a reason for leaving their jobs as the top reason in Q1 2018. 


“Unfortunately ther could be lower container demand growth due to the tariffs imposed by both China and the U.S., which could be come a long-term headwind for the space, but should have little to no impact in the near term.”

-Benjamin J. Nolan, Stifel analyst, on the tariff impact to container shipping

In other news:

Robo-Taxis are the future of transportation — and China’a DiDi is racing to get there first

DiDi, China’s version of Uber, is developing autonomous taxi services. (forbes)

Softbank, Google join $1.9 billion investment in China truck-hailing firm

Japan’s Softbank Group and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund, CapitalG, are among investors  putting $1.9 billion into the Chinese truck-hailing company, Manbang Group. (Reuters)

UP, BNSF offer bonuses up to $25K to fill critical positions

Th low unemployment rate is leading the nation’s two largest freight railroads to offer incentives to attract employees. (Lincoln Journal Star)

China coal imports tumble on new rules, India yet to take up the slack: Russell

China’s decision to impose fresh restrictions on imports of coal appears to have caused a sharp fall in inbound shipments. (Reuters)

XPO Logistics names former Amazon executive as COO

Kenneth Wagers moves to acquisition-focused XPO fom Amazon’s transportation and logistics operation. (WSJ)

Final Thoughts:

In the last 2 weeks there have been two widely publicized food recalls. The egg recall has been linked to relatively few illnesses thus far with an estimated 36, and the romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak having an unsubstantiated impact but estimates are twice that of the eggs. Recalls are bad not only from a consumer standpoint but can have large impacts on transportation cycles as trucks are rerouted to facilities for disposal. 

Blockchain technology offers a potential solution by allowing agencies immediate visibility into their supply chains making recall processes run more effectively. Blockchain has the potential of saving millions of dollars a year in transportation costs, but most importantly, also of keeping us a little more healthy. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert & Market Analyst

Zach Strickland, the “Sultan of SONAR,” curates the weekly market update. Zach is also a one of FreightWaves’ Market Experts. With a degree in Finance, Strickland spent the early part of his career in banking before transitioning to transportation in various roles and segments, such as truckload and LTL. He has over 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing, and analytics.