All trucking industry stakeholders preach uptime as the best course to higher revenue and happier customers. The technology exists to further reduce downtime. But is the industry committed to it?
“It’s all about knowledge sharing and expertise,” Beto Dantas, chief technology officer for ConMet, a global manufacturer of wheel hubs, structural plastic, and aluminum casting components. Dantas spoke Tuesday in a fireside chat during the FreightWaves Carrier Summit.
“We have developed an expertise of how the product is supposed to operate,” Dantas said. “I think other Tier Ones need to come to the table with the same information. If we’re able to create an open platform [for sharing] between managers and carriers, then everybody is going to benefit. Innovation comes from collaboration.”
No shortage of information
“The business model is getting transformed as we speak because in the past telematics was about ’Where is my truck? Is it in the right place [and at the] right time?” Kar said. Now it is about the truck, but also about mobile resources. It’s now about location plus predictive maintenance and prescriptive maintenance in the future.”
There is no shortage of available information coming from the trucks. Equipment manufacturers all offer over-the-air fixes to reprogram onboard computers. But physical breakdowns take a truck and a driver out of service. And that costs money.
“Data allows you to manage your fleet better. So, a lot of decisions [can be made] proactively as opposed to reactively,” Dantas said. “From a connectivity standpoint, we need all these systems speaking to each other.”
Walmart, Amazon set example
“A lot of people think this is just because they want to keep their customers happy,” Dantas said. “The reality is they are really talking about efficiency of operations.
“We are automating our systems in a way throughIndustry 4.0 that you see in a lot of other industries,” he said. “The more we can connect the systems, the faster we can get there.”
Said Kar: “The visibility of freight movement is just the beginning. More information will provide better analytics. You can improve [an] operation to not just avoid downtime. But you can improve scheduling. You can improve how freight is moved in significant ways.”