Today’s Pickup: Top supply chain trends and Rhode Island toll revenue grows

Digitization of the supply chain will continue to be a major trend in 2019. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

Platooning and blockchain are coming technologies, but they are not the ones DHL sees as the most important in 2019. The company envisions robotics, digitization and talent recruiting and retention as top issues facing the supply chain this year.

DHL said that robotics technology will extend beyond order picking to allow humans and robots to work side-by-side effectively throughout the warehouse environment.

“At DHL, we’ve taken a multi-vendor strategy to robotics that allows us to select the best technology for each application while using our scale to support multiple emerging solutions. This will ultimately help broaden the range of solutions available to the industry,” Scott Sureddin, CEO of DHL Supply Chain, North America, said.

Supply chains will also see more efforts to bridge the talent gap, including the digitization of the process. Online applications are one way to improve the process, DHL said, but so is connecting with outside organizations such as colleges and universities to attract new talent.  

Digitization of the supply chain, particularly as it relates to transportation, is an emerging area, the company said. “Cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) are extending the value of TMS to smaller enterprises, providing the insight and data to optimize resources,” DHL wrote. “In addition, increased use of IoT in the form of fleet management systems allows data from truck operations to improve utilization and reduce downtime.”

The biggest opportunity, however, is the continued emergence of digital freight platforms creating online marketplaces that are quickly and efficiently connecting shippers to carriers through streamlined processes and cost optimization.

Did you know?

According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, monthly revenue from its truck-only tolls has averaged $617,805, exceeding expectations.  


“The entry-level driver training final rule was published on December 8, 2016, and since that time, the agency has been working on its implementation.”

– FMCSA official, pushing back against rumors of a delay to the entry-level driver training rule

In other news:

The logistics of scooters

With the growing popularity of electric scooters in urban centers, a new industry has been born – scooter logistics. (Santa Monica Daily News)

Two dozen members join House T&I Committee

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which is expected to take up infrastructure funding, has 24 new members. (OH&S)

Pennsylvania highway ban hits truckers

The highway ban put into effect ahead of the weekend storm in Pennsylvania hit truck drivers unable to drive the major interstates. (Erie News)

Group encourages spot checks on containers

The TT Club is recommending spot checks on all containers, hoping to build on Maersk’s new initiative. (The Loadstar)

Electric truck maker ramps up efforts

Following a large order from FedEx, Chanje electric vehicles is ramping up its efforts to bring the vehicles to market. (LA Business Journal)

Final Thoughts

Rhode Island officials have said toll revenue in the state from trucks has exceeded expectations as 186,698 trucks pass under the two gantries installed per month, generating $617,805 in revenue. Oregon and Connecticut are also considering new tolls as more states look for revenue streams. The fight against tolls is likely to grow across the country in 2019, led by the American Trucking Associations and others, who continue to push fuel tax increases.  

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.