How Big Data is Transforming the Transportation Industry

When you hear the term “big data” chances are your mind quickly turns to tech companies, or possibly final-mile logistics for global retailers such as Amazon.com, but have you considered how the aggregation of data even within the independent and regional fleet impact freight prices industry-wide? Even if smaller carriers don’t have the ability to track data points at a granular level, some of their data points are being pulled and incorporated by vendors they use. Fuel station networks, tire shops and truck maintenance shops, and of course, load boards, all take different data points from transactions and some have agreements for data sharing with partners to improve business processes, pricing, and better understand trends and mitigate large-scale risks.

What About Privacy Concerns?

There are legal limits, and even then, sometimes it can seem invasive, but for a moment, let’s consider the benefits of big data for the transportation industry as a whole. Big data is transforming the transportation industry by giving trucking companies access to more efficient trucks, improved truck replacement strategies, and better ways to optimize routes for maximum efficiency. By using predictive analytics, big data can help trucking companies anticipate and prevent potential problems with their fleets before they occur, such as identifying potential equipment failures or faulty parts that may need to be addressed.

Big data can also help trucking companies stay ahead of regulatory changes and cost increases, allowing them to accurately price their services while maintaining customer satisfaction. Additionally, big data can help trucking companies better understand the needs of their customers, making it easier for them to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions. By leveraging all of these insights, trucking companies are able to improve their performance and provide a higher quality of service for their customers.

Fuel Savings Through Efficient Routes

Big data is also helping combat the rising cost of fuel and tire wear by designing routes that are either more efficient (reduced inclines, fewer curvy roads), as well as real-time rerouting for traffic. A series of small changes on a single OTR route can mean the difference between a break-even and a profitable trip for an independent owner-operator.

Better Data for Manufacturers

While commercial trucks are built to take a beating for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of miles, there is a limit, and wouldn’t it be great if the next transportation equipment you purchase has a 15% lower operating cost than your last truck? Data collected from vendors, load boards, and fleet owners can help manufacturers create better trucks by understanding the types of loads being hauled, how long are trips, what’s the terrain like, etc.

The Bottom Line

Big data is transforming the transportation industry by providing trucking companies with greater visibility into their operations and more accurate insights into customer needs. By combining predictive analytics with comprehensive data points, trucking companies can better anticipate