January 2019 Newsletter
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Technology & Transportation Panel

Andrew McWiggan, VP & Business Development Director was honoured to join a panel to talk to industry leaders about technology in transportation and logistics.

I was thrilled when I was approached with the opportunity to speak on a panel covering technology and its expected disruption in the transportation industry.

The event, which was organized by the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT) and the Saskatoon Transportation Club (STC), coincided with Saskatchewan Supply Chain Week and hosted over 90 guests from around the province. 

My panel discussed how technology is currently playing a role in the Transportation sector, and where we see the industry moving as a whole. Transportation is one of the few long-standing industries which is about to go through a major technology overhaul. We are seeing a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the space and many companies are bracing for the changes coming down the pipe. 

Electronic Log Devices (ELDs) were a major headlining topic, as Canada is likely to make a mandate that an ELD must be in every cab. The USA market has already gone through this change in late 2017; Canada is hoping to take some of the learnings from this process to help guide their legislative process. 

My co-panelist, Albert Jaime from ZU, shed some light on the importance of change management in the workplace, and how companies can tackle technology adoption. We also touched on the topics of recruitment and government, specifically how do you get more young drivers to work in this sector.

There has been a major shortage of drivers for the last decade and a half and the problems associated with this are only getting worse. Albert and I both explained, that as technology becomes more apparent in the industry and the lifestyle of a “typical driver” changes, more opportunity for recruitment will present itself. 

With emerging technologies, such as driverless fleets and automated supply chain technology, coming in the not-too-distant future, transportation companies will have to look at how they can optimize their operations and attract a new class of staff to support new systems and technology.

When asked about when we saw the driverless fleet being implemented, I said it would largely depend on government and regulatory boards across Canada/USA.

I anticipate that within the next 5-8 years we will see driverless fleets operating, if all of the other pieces are able to come together. 

Our final topic addressed decision making, specifically answering the question: “How do you go about assessing any piece of software for your transportation company?”

Albert mentioned that you need to get input from actual users, so that they are a part of the entire design process. Users will be able to provide you with an understanding of where the gaps are, and where there is a viable software solution out there which will service the users needs. I explained that in most cases there is a disconnect between what ‘C suite’ decision makers need, and what the general user base wants. 

In some cases, you will find that there isn’t a viable option out of the box to solve your issues and that’s okay. I discussed in detail that custom built software is fantastic for businesses who have intricate processes and need to integrate with multiple third party APIs (application programming interface). 

I look forward to the next opportunity to collaborate with CITT and STC. 

If you are interested in chatting further about the transportation sector and how technology fits, please don’t hesitate to contact me.