Fleet Complete’s Chief Strategy Officer Sandeep Kar asks the question – ‘What can the truck do for me?’
Kar outlined what he predicts to be a transformation in trucking with FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller as part of the FreightWavesTV show, “Fuller Speed Ahead.”
“The next decade is going to be about the business model transformation in trucking. The truck will much less be a product and will be considered more of a service and a solution,” said Kar.
Kar argues that a driver’s relationship with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will no longer end once the purchase of a truck is finalized. That relationship will continue over the lifespan of the truck with the introduction of in-cab service technologies.
“What can the truck do for me? That completely changes the business model; the truck becomes a service and eventually, it’s going to become a solution to where you buy a truck and it will come with all kinds of income-generating opportunities,” said Kar.
In many ways, the transformation is already happening. Kar stated that smart money is no longer going under the hood, but instead, OEMs are pouring money into the cabin, investing in driver productivity, efficiency and overall well-being.
These potential opportunities, Kar described, involve OEMs installing hardware for freight-matching, prognostics to reduce down-time, as well as driver behavior training.
Digital freight-matching has been gaining steam as those in the trucking industry strive for greater efficiency. This innovation allows carriers to schedule loads with shippers and brokers simply through the use of a smart-phone app. Kar believes embedding freight-matching applications, like Fleet Complete’s BigRoad Freight, in trucks will be of great value to carriers and shippers alike. However, he claims the revolution won’t come from the digital freight brokers themselves, but instead from whether or not there is a demand for the technology.
“They [digital freight brokers] are evolutionary, but the revolution is not going to come from them. I believe any revolution that happens will happen from the inside out, which means that while they’re going to influence the environment, the real change is going to start coming when end-users, which means fleets and owner-operators, start demanding this technology,” said Kar.
He continued, “What these kinds of companies are doing is educating the market on the art of the possible. Then you have the likes of C.H. Robinson and others that essentially can switch to this model if they so choose to, and in doing so create a mass groundswell of interest which will force the OEMs to have these technologies embedded in their vehicles.”