POWER TRANSMISSION-PART CONVEYING
With Lifetime Warranty Against Manufacturing Defects
AN ISO 9001
CER TIFIED COMPAN Y
CUSTOM MADE IN INCH, METRIC & O-RING SIZES
Very Clean in Operation • Eliminates Tensioning Devices
Exceptional Abrasion Resistance
Round, Flat and Connectable Polyurethane Belts
Samples available at little or no cost • Colors Available
ORIGINAL EQUIPMEN T & CONNEC TABLE
on your conveyor; they have
become the standard of the industry.
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that they deem too costly, too cumbersome, and incompatible with existing systems. On the other hand, if companies
do not evaluate and invest in an IT solution, they must
often deal with disparate systems that cause inefficiencies
and decisions made in silos. These become manually intensive processes and make it difficult to maximize profit,
growth, and customer satisfaction.
Q: All of you, to one degree or another, touch trucking.
Will we see autonomous tractor-trailers on the road by the
time the decade ends? If so, what restrictions, if any, will
be placed on their operation?
AH: Self-driving trucks will be on the road within the
next 18 months. The physical component is developed; the
only thing missing is data. Initially, about 10 to 15 percent
of vehicle miles will be converted to self-driving trucks.
What happens to pricing? People don’t know how to price,
but self-driving could stabilize it as well as ensure that
more drivers can come home every night and have a stable
income. Flat rates could become prevalent on busy, stable
routes like Chicago to Los Angeles.
CE: Platooning, at a minimum, should go live by decade’s
end. That means there will be an active driver in the lead
truck, with the other trucks following. The challenge will
be in regulating the operations to demonstrate trucks can
operate safely on the interstates. Restrictions could vary
from needing someone to take control, to not allowing
operations outside of very specific routes.
MH: They will be with us sooner than later. Several truck
manufacturers are piloting more advanced autonomous
vehicles now. There will be regulatory and cultural hurdles
to overcome, so industrywide adoption is still a number of
years out. But that’s where we are headed.
MW: With the rapid changes in technology, it is difficult
to predict if we will see autonomous tractor-trailers on the
road by the end of the decade. In our view, safety is the
primary issue that will need to be addressed in regard to the
operations of autonomous tractor-trailers.
Q: How has omnichannel fulfillment, and by extension the
“Amazon effect,” changed the way logistics services are
executed? And how will it shape the future of the industry?
AH: Consumer behavior has changed everything. The
shift in consumer buying habits has had the biggest effect
on trucking. Before, consumers expected to receive orders
in a week. Now, it’s within a day. Predicting demand is the
key, not working to stabilize inventory levels. Trucking
must shift with retailers, becoming more agile and efficient.
Obtaining and leveraging data will be critical.
CE: The biggest impact is in the changing of customer
expectations. Customers now have inflated expectations
about the speed of logistics services. This requires companies to provide greater access to cross-channel inventory,
direct inventory to the best location in and across channels,
and move shipments faster around the world. The current challenge for many companies is enabling this faster
tempo. Whether you are B2B [business to business] or B2C
[business to consumer], the expectation is that you are able
to quickly react to customer demands. However, many
companies don’t have the processes and systems in place to
make this change.
MH: Omnichannel, and particularly the direct-to-con-sumer component, has reshaped logistics and transport
forever. The entire supply chain has to run like a well-oiled
machine so the retailer can keep its promises and its brand
is protected. Returns must be just as seamless. None of this
is possible without technology. This means focusing on
automation, quality, and overall increased labor productivity to service the end consumer in a cost-effective way.
MW: Companies planning to emulate the Amazon model
must develop robust omnichannel fulfillment strategies.
This environment is increasing the use of parcel by a wide
range of companies. In the past, many transportation
management systems separated parcel shipping from other
modes. Today’s robust TMS platforms natively support
parcel along with all other modes, allowing companies to
consolidate shipments across modes, customers, and business units. This results in cost savings in transportation
spending and efficiencies in the holistic management of