Ted Kaczynski and TSL

no responses

I am sure many of you wonder what one of American terrorists and our European TSL market have in common. Let me explain this.

Theodore John Kaczynski, known as Ted Kaczynski or the Unabomber, was terrorising people in the U.S. for over 18 years by sending packages with bombs he constructed himself. He did it to direct attention to his technological society manifesto. He stated in the manifesto that “the industrial revolution destroyed human relations and civilisation led us to lose our humanity and become slaves to technology.”

Certainly, Kaczynski’s methods should be deprecated, however his visionary manifesto made me think about the modern TSL market and the direction in which it is going.

We have been seeing a strong tendency for the introduction of technological solutions to the everyday work of freight forwarders, dispatchers, ordering parties and drivers for quite some time. Suppliers of software for transportation management, calculation of the drivers’ work hours, topics or freight exchange are competing in solutions that reduce human operations and that are based on process automation.

Very soon, after accepting sales for their client, ordering parties will be adding proper instructions to their system. That system, combined with freight exchange, will send
transportation tenders to a group of carriers that meet the requirements and have vehicles available at a time and place corresponding to the shipment. Depending on the conditions, driver’s available work time read from GPS, their location, order processing costs, estimated based on the route, road tolls, fuel efficiency, current fuel price, the carrier’s TMS will suggest the freight forwarder to accept the order as the most optimal one. After the order is confirmed through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), it will be transferred to TMS and sent to the driver. The driver will read the new order and, based on the planned route, start fulfilling it. The ordering party will be able to keep track of the location of the vehicle completing their order. After unloading, the driver will scan transport documents that will be transferred to the ordering party with an invoice in seconds. At the end of the month, we will receive a full report of our work efficiency, income, costs, record of the driver’s work hours and anything else we can think of.

By using such a technology, one freight forwarder can indeed get more work done than under standard conditions. They receive much more information necessary to make decisions and reduce the time needed for entering orders in the systems, exchanges or for sending text messages with instructions to the drivers. I think that such a freight forwarder is able to supervise even several more vehicles and this solves the problem of insufficient number of employees among freight forwarders.

But is this actually going to work so perfectly in practice? Are we going to lose the human factor at some point in the whole automation process? Everyone who has ever worked in the transportation sector knows that sometimes human relations that we build are the most effective. In my work, conflicts with partners have been resolved through a usual conversation, by hearing the arguments of the other party, understanding their situation and finding a common solution. The situation is similar with drivers. They are busy all the time and compete against time to fulfil their orders. Will automated delivery of information on next shipments and unloadings lead us to stop treating the drivers like members of our team and to start treating them like points on a GPS map?! Will the freight forwarders, in all their rush for the highest efficiency, forget to call the driver and, just human-to-human, ask: “Hi Chris, how is the road going?”. With difficult deliveries, it is better to call, explain the situation, ask the driver about his opinion, engage him in planning, instead of sending him the “corridor” route.

The age of autonomous cars is yet to come, and we should remember about H2H – Human-to-Human communications.

I am not against new technology at all. Personally, I cannot imagine that my computer desktop does not synchronise data with my phone or getting rid of all applications. I am just trying to point out that our companies should devote as much time for building human relations as for implementing new technologies. In the age of technological craziness, we often happen to forget that people are the biggest asset for our business. If they are motivated enough, they can move mountains, without waiting for another software update.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. The fields that must be filled in are marked with *

avatar

Ask or order online


Customer about us


  • We have been cooperating with Stan-Trans transport company for 8 years and we inform with pleasure that it is an exceptionally professional and committed partner we may always rely on. Our cooperation concerns management of transport of construction materials and modular houses. At the beginning of our collaboration we were assigned a coordinator, who responds to all our inquiries about domestic and international freight in a fast and professional manner.

  • The offers we receive are comprehensive and financially attractive. Another important aspect of our cooperation is flexibility of Stan-Trans company regarding deadlines. Both coordinators and drivers are very helpful in the whole process of transport organization and thanks to that our cooperation with Stan-Trans runs smoothly and in a nice atmosphere. We will certainly continue our collaboration and we may recommend to you Stan-Trans in all responsibility as a professional, effective and exceptionally committed partner.

  • Timeliness, expertise and, most of all, safety, are advantages of the company we experience in everyday cooperation. Highly-qualified staff characterized by commitment to cooperation and professional diligence allows us to face difficult challenges consisting in realization of intermodal transports. Proactive approach to potential problems is a guarantee you may count on while commencing your cooperation with STAN-TRANS company. We may recommend STAN-TRANS as a good and reliable partner offering a high level of services.

  • Employees of Stan-Trans display a high level of professionalism. As a client and a potential orderer of transport we quickly receive freight rates necessary for price estimations. Quotations are prepared very thoroughly. Employees of Stan-Trans always try to select the most suitable vehicle on the route we are interested in; they always offer to us advice, help and a good solutions.