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The FTR Transportation Conference, which took place at Indianapolis's Union Station September 12-14, examined industry-shaping transformations that will shape both the last quarter of 2017 and extend into 2018. Executives from dozens of companies discussed industry trends, how to respond to environmental and political changes, and how technology is impacting the way truckers drive and operate.
What did FTR focus on?
Every conference has an individual focus. Some highlight new products, such as hybrid braking systems and automation tools, whereas others focus on upcoming policy changes. This conference focused on predicting mid- and long-term changes in the transportation industry as a whole. One of the main topics of focus at this conference was the continued debate about data aggregation.
The industry has already seen signs of 'big data' sliding into how large companies and third-party tools operate. Crowd-sourcing route generators are analyzing traffic patterns specifically for truck drivers, ELDs are monitoring trucking hours, and internal check-in software is giving corporations information to streamline the industry and best plan a network of routes and warehouses. This can lead to overall efficiency, but it also gives greater advantage to larger fleets.
Another key issue was how ideas about shipping and transportation have been changing due to available technology and customer demand. Everything from Amazon's shipping infrastructure to the gig-based economy is transforming delivery, and discussing the annual changes in full instead of seeing the impacts week after week is the best way to get a fuller picture of the future. Go to Country Supply to read more about these issues and how they are continuing to evolve.
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