Impact of Automation and Robotics in Transportation

Impact of Automation and Robotics in Transportation

Impact of Automation and Robotics in Transportation

Data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) shows that trucking continues to be the most prolific mode of surface transportation in the country, hauling 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. However, it continues to face bottlenecks in various processes, like warehousing, route mapping, logistics management, and other areas. 

What is the solution to building and maintaining a more effort-efficient, productive, and resilient trucking industry? The answer is the application of robotics in transportation. 

Robotics and automation in logistics have the potential to empower all human touch points across the operational process and allow all workers to do more in less time. So, let’s take a deep dive into robotics in logistics and supply chain management to understand how it can help the trucking industry. 


Robotics in Logistics

Technological innovations are beneficial only if leveraged correctly in the industry, and the application of robotics in logistics is not an exception. While the term robotics may conjure an image of self-driving trucks in your mind, the truth is that human involvement in the trucking industry is not easily replaceable with machines or algorithms. 

Instead, robots in transportation can eliminate roadblocks that slow down the growth of the trucking industry and automate repetitive manual tasks. In doing so, it can enable and empower those employed in the industry to work with greater efficiency and under better conditions. 

Robotics in Logistics

Here’s how automation and robotics in transportation can improve the trucking industry: 

It Can Upgrade Warehousing Capabilities

In the trucking industry, warehousing includes the storing, packaging, loading, and unloading of goods. These processes involve a significant amount of effort allocation and time management. What makes matters more complicated is the diverse range of products that the trucking industry handles. 

As the history of the trucking industry is proof, warehousing is one of the most repetitive and time-consuming processes in freight transportation. Having a robust warehousing system can decrease lead times and allow truck drivers to make on-time deliveries consistently. 

So, warehousing can benefit from automation and robotics. 

Robots in transportation can help with packing, picking, loading, and unloading of goods. Goods-to-Persons (GTP) robots can expedite various repetitive and labor-intensive processes, further reducing wait times for truck drivers. 

Automated Robotic Truck Loaders (RTLs) process heavy-duty shipments in less time and with greater efficiency than manual laborers. Because RTLs can stack boxes and load them onto truck beds without the use of traditional equipment, it reduces the chances of causing damage to the goods. It also decreases the possibility of physical injuries to workers on-site.  

It Can Upgrade Warehousing Capabilities

Deploying robotics in transportation can help truck drivers make better time during deliveries and improve employee satisfaction and retention rates for trucking companies. 

But there’s more to robotics and automation in logistics than the heavy lifting (pun intended). 

Some of the advanced features of robots in transportation can ensure optimal use of the space inside the truck by stacking boxes most effectively. Such robots can arrange the cargo so that not an inch of the available space goes to waste. This might not always be achievable in a traditional, manual loading setup. 

The more cargo truck drivers can haul in each trip, the more productive they can be. 

It Can Improve Dispatch and Delivery

Robotics and automation in logistics have a winning advantage when it comes to the dispatch and delivery of fragile and otherwise sensitive cargo. Truck drivers often have to haul tons of perishables or goods that are prone to damage with the slightest change in environmental factors or extended delays. 

Advanced robotic computations predict the best routes for the drivers hauling such goods by considering factors like prevailing weather, local traffic conditions, and other elements. Delivery route optimization ensures all truck drivers deliver sensitive goods in safe and usable conditions.

It Can Improve Dispatch and Delivery

In addition, smart trucks fitted with state-of-the-art data transmitters will keep the dispatchers and drivers connected at all times. Apart from real-time delivery updates, dispatchers can also guide truck drivers on the handling of sensitive cargo and inform them of any changes to their routes. 

Optimization of dispatch and delivery, especially when there is immense seasonal demand on the trucking industry, makes life much easier for truck drivers. 

It Can Ensure the Safety and Maintenance of Trucks

Automated truck monitoring systems fitted with various types of sensors ensure that the vehicles are always in optimal working conditions. Any minor or major irregularities in internal machinery can be easily detected with the help of these monitoring systems. 

This is crucial for the routine maintenance of a trucking fleet, especially since truck maintenance is easily overlooked. 

Because the trucking industry is the lifeline of the global economy, deploying innovative robotics in logistics for its safety and security is undoubtedly needed. 

Considering all the factors discussed, it’s easy to conclude why leveraging robotics in transportation is one of the leading trucking industry trends today. As a McKinsey Global Institute report has shown, the transportation and warehousing industry has the third-highest scope for automation—there is a ton of opportunity there. 

One can only hope that the future of robotics in logistics holds solutions that can lead to further growth and improved resilience in the trucking industry. 

Exploring the Benefits of Robotics in Logistics With AJR Trucking

Exploring the Benefits of Robotics in Logistics With AJR Trucking

Automation and robotics in logistics are undoubtedly game-changers for the trucking industry. So, trucking companies need to carefully study the impact of robotics in logistics and supply chain management to successfully deploy these solutions and take their current operations to another level. 

AJR Trucking is a reputed nationwide trucking company that recognizes the importance of robotics in logistics. As one of the top ten USPS contractors servicing the United States, we believe in riding the wave of innovation to retain our competitive advantage and set new benchmarks in the industry. We also take care to train and educate our driver partners on the various uses of technology like robots in transportation.

The future of the trucking industry may very well be in the hands of robotics in logistics and automation. If you are a regional truck driver and want to explore new opportunities, join AJR Trucking—the best trucking company to work for.

Follow us

Skip to content