Small Business Corner
The future of the Australian transport and logistics industry is bright. Over the next quarter century, the transport and logistics sector will have access to some shiny new technologies that will undoubtedly increase the efficiency of transport operations around the country.
The Australian population is forecast to grow by almost 40 percent through 2040. So, it makes sense that over the next 25 years, the demand for transport and logistics services will grow at a similar rate. Forecasts show that Australia’s domestic freight task is expected to grow by 26 percent over the next 10 years, more than double in 25 years, and triple by 2050 to service the expanding number of metro and regional Australian residents.
It’s imperative then that future transport technology be implemented to help Australia’s transport and logistics industry keep pace with the country’s growing population and improve its ability to service the Australian people.
Advancements in drone technology and the rising commercial availability of electric and autonomous vehicles are the primary areas where greater efficiencies in Australia’s transport and logistics industry will be driven.
While there are still some large barriers to the commercial use of drones, not least of them being the safety aspect and risk of conflict with general aviation users, the adoption of more sophisticated drone technology may be a viable way to ease the logistical burden of Australia’s increased urbanisation on road infrastructure.
The widespread use of drone distribution may still be a while off, but the implications of such technology is most certainly worth the wait. Using GPS, drones will be able to deliver small parcels directly to consumer locations in addition to their fixed addresses.
However, before that happens, drones are currently filling the airspace of warehouse interiors. For example, Walmart has equipped small drones with optical scanners to scan inventory in its gargantuan warehouses (the smallest is the size of 17 football fields). These fly around completely autonomously and can scan a volume of inventory in one hour, that would otherwise require 50 humans – that’s a huge cost and time saving.
Australia’s increased urbanisation is expected to make intra-city freight take up an increasingly significant share of the domestic freight task. Therefore, in the short-term, we can expect to see a continued shift towards fuel-efficient and low emission vehicles, with increased use of electric-powered and hybrid vehicles for short-haul transport in urban areas.
Tesla is due to begin production on the automaker’s electric truck, Tesla Semi, in 2019. They have already secured another major buyer in Albertsons Companies, one of the largest foods and drug retailers in the US. Prices of these electric trucks will range between 150 - 200 thousand dollars that range between 300-miles and 500-miles. Upon comparison, performance advantages in terms of speed, a 20% decrease in the cost of operation and less vehicle maintenance are just a few of the benefits promised by electric vehicles (EV).
Truck manufacturing companies Daimler, Volvo and Peterbilt are leading the charge in the development of the first commercially viable autonomous truck. Back in 2015, Daimler took the first step: obtaining a licence for road use in the US State of Nevada.
The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck used a ‘Highway Pilot’ system to semi-autonomously relieve the strain on truck drivers faced with long hauls. Of course, the shift from semi-autonomous vehicles to fully-autonomous, unmanned vehicles will not be overnight.
Current automatic breaking, speed control and lane sensing technology available today are giving us a taste of what a truly autonomous vehicle could be like. So, as companies develops this technology further, we can expect that, this time in 25 years, unmanned trucks will be redefining the transport and logistics industry.
The freight industry's major markets span the entire Australian economy. That’s why efficient road freight transport is integral to the country’s economic performance. As the population grows at rapid pace, so too will the need for quicker, safer and more accurate transport and logistics services.
Embracing technological change is the only way companies will be able to meet these demands. Drones, EVs and Autonomous Vehicles are some future transport technologies that are guiding the way. Those operators who first adopt and successfully implement these efficiencies on a large scale will be well-placed to service Australia’s increasing freight task as the next 25 years unfold.
For more industry news, insights, events, and a place to chat about the things that matter to you, join us at the Truck Assist Club.
Truck Assist | Know Your Truck
Australia’s leading truck roadside assistance and online insurance provider, Truck Assist, today announced a new partnership with up-and-coming Supercar driver Jack Le Brocq and the TEKNO Autosports team.
Truck Assist will back Le Brocq’s TEKNO Holden Commodore in the endurance race rounds of this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Sandown (Melbourne), Bathurst (NSW) and the Gold Coast, plus the series Grand Final in Newcastle (NSW).
Le Brocq is the standout ‘rookie driver’ of the 2018 Virgin Supercar Championship season, with five top 10 finishes including a season-high fifth outright in Tasmania earlier in the year.
Truck Assist’s debut as the TEKNO Commodore’s naming rights sponsor at the Sandown 500 in September will mark the first time its orange-and-black colours have been seen in the sport.
“Truck Assist is excited to partner with Jack Le Brocq and TEKNO Autosports for these premier Supercar events,” said Alan Hasted, General Manager, Truck Assist.
“Jack’s a major talent with a big future in the sport. He’s someone we’re proud to throw our support behind and to have as an ambassador for our business. There’s a genuine synergy there,”
“TEKNO Autosports has long punched above its weight in Supercar racing. They’re a small tight-knit team – perfect for us to partner and grow with. Together we’ve got some exciting things planned along the way.”
To that end, Truck Assist will promote its heavy vehicle roadside assistance and online truck insurance capabilities around the Supercar program, including trackside activations with customers and other key company stakeholders.
Le Brocq’s Truck Assist TEKNO Commodore will contest the three endurance races, the Sandown 500, the Bathurst 1000, and the Gold Coast 600, where team owner Jonathon Webb will share the driving duties.
“It’s awesome to be partnering Truck Assist for these important events and to be able to bring a new sponsor to the sport,” Jack Le Brocq said.
“Our Truck Assist Commodore looks fantastic in orange-and-black, and Jonathon and I are looking forward to continuing our progress toward the front of the field.”
Truck Assist revealed its Supercar sponsorship at the TEKNO Autosports headquarters on the Gold Coast today alongside their restored, custom 1946 Ford Jailbar truck, to be publically debuted at the upcoming Sandown 500 “Retro Round”.
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Insurance products are provided by National Transport Insurance, a joint venture of the insurers Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU Insurance ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 and AAI Limited Trading as Vero Insurance ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 each holding a 50% share. National Transport Insurance is administered on behalf of the insurers by its manager NTI Limited ABN 84 000 746 109 AFSL 237246.