How Will Self Driving Trucks Affect the Logistics Industry?

  • August 16, 2017
  • Blog

In recent years, there have been a lot of discussions about the introduction of automated vehicles trucks in shipping and how it will affect logistics and the warehouse industry. The expected affects have been carefully analyzed by several organizations and experts. As this technology is still a thing of the future, it is only possible to guess at how the logistics industry will be affected. Here are some advantages and disadvantages that have been proposed by reports and discourses:

Potential Benefits of Self Driving Trucks in Logistics

  • Vehicles that can drive themselves can also overview the situation and take decisions to prevent the wastage of resources. For example, the trucks will be able to optimize the use of fuel when stuck in traffic etc. This will result in efficient use of fuel and less wastage.
  • Safety is one of the most important benefits that automotive vehicles are expected to bring. It has been said that self-driven vehicles will be better as well as faster at decision making. This will bring down the risk of accidents caused due to human negligence.
  • Since fuel consumption will become more efficient and due to several other reasons, the environmental impact will be reduced. These vehicles will also be capable of monitoring traffic factors and thus adapting to them. Obstacles on the road will be easily avoided and the transportation will be done with much more speed and diligence.
  • If the same technology is applied to warehouse management by automated machines, it will make the process of picking up goods and stocking much more efficient. This will make the process much faster, especially in large warehouses and the productivity will be much higher than human workers.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

Although self-driven vehicles will generally have a positive effect on the logistics industry, there are some concerns that cannot be dismissed. Some technical experts are of the opinion that although controls can be automated, a driver will still be needed to oversee the operations. This is because human can think in ways that machines can’t. Also, computer crashes and technical defects can cause similar problems as human negligence does.              

How Will Third Party Logistics be affected?

The use of vehicles that can drive themselves will bring about a number of changes in the logistics industry. It will completely change how goods are transported from one location to another. Not only this, the use of automated forklift will also bring about significant changes on the receiver’s end and how the picking and stocking is down at warehouse. One of the major effects that this will cause is allowing the logistics companies to collect more information about the entire procedure and thus enhance productivity and efficiency.

The cost of freight shipment will go down and with this goods will be available to buyers and consumers at more competitive prices. An important concern that 3PL companies have regarding automotive logistics is that it might negate their need. Shippers can simply order automated trucks that will do all the work by themselves. However, some experts are of the opinion that 3PL companies will hardly lose their relevance as organization and manual handling of controls will still be required.