Autonomous technologies and vehicles could be the solution to trucking shortage predicament of US ports and exporters, according to digital freight forwarder iContainers.
In a statement, iContainers said that a truck shortage in the past 12 months since the enforcement of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) has caused congestion and delays, and consequently an increase in shipping costs.
This has had a toll on exporters and threatens the US’ position as a global trading hub. Last-minute shipments or shipments with unanticipated zero-hour changes have been the most affected.
A recent Port Technology technical paper explored the potential of Machine Learning technology in ports and container terminals
Klaus Lysdal, vice-president of iContainers, said the shortage “continues to pose problems for shippers’ supply chains. It’s causing unpredictable delays and added costs, which are a huge business deterrence that can ultimately affect US exporters’ competitiveness in international markets.”
“Expect significantly higher costs for last minute trucking arrangements or modifications. This is either because shipments end up going into storage or demurrage for failing to secure a trucker or simply because a higher rate is needed to get a trucker to accept the last-minute move.”
However, Lysdal also recognizes that the worst of the situation may have passed and that the majority of shippers have largely adapted, and that autonomous vehicles and technology has had a positive effect.
“From what we’ve seen, truckers have gotten better at managing their work within the new regulations,” says Mr Lysdal.
“Most shippers have also come to terms with the situation. They have realized that more planning is required in advance and have learned to adjust their day-to-day planning and find ways to make it work.”