By James Murphy
Locomation’s VP of Government Affairs
Locomation’s Technology Addresses Top Industry Pain Points Identified in ATRI “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry 2022” Report
The Autonomous Relay ConvoySM (ARC) system was designed and purpose-built to address many of the issues that continue to plague the trucking industry year after year.
Earlier this month, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released their report on top issues facing the trucking sector for 2022. The report represents a diverse cross section of the trucking industry and includes professional truck drivers (47.2%), motor carrier executives and personnel (38.8%), and other industry stakeholders (14%). Notable changes from the 2021 top industry issues facing the sector include:
- Fuel prices taking the #1 spot,
- Driver shortage fell for the first time in five years to #2, and
- Truck parking scarcity rose to #3.
Other issues included in the report were Driver Compensation, the Economy, Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities, Driver Retention, Speed Limiters, and Lawsuit Abuse Reform.
With the latest issue of the report still hot off the presses and the sector continuing to look for innovative ways to address systemic challenges within the trucking industry, one truth remains clear — Locomation’s Autonomous Relay Convoy (ARC) systems can address key industry pain points identified by ATRI today.
Fuel Prices: Locomation’s ARC technology reduces fuel consumption by up to a staggering 21% (infographic & report). This is accomplished by creating aerodynamic efficiencies of the two-truck convoy, combined with the elimination of empty miles, and the reduction of idling and detention time enabled through Locomation’s Digital Transportation System (DTS), which optimizes freight along 68 Autonomous Relay NetworkSM (ARN) routes across the country. This optimization allows carriers to move more freight using less fuel, which equates to substantial cost savings and increased profitability for customers utilizing Locomation technology.
Driver Shortage: The two-truck convoy system developed by Locomation has a driver in each truck. The key difference is that the driver in the following truck is in their sleeper berth, resting, and not using their Hours of Service (HOS). Periodically, the drivers switch and take turns leading and following in the convoy. Not only does this model stay in compliance with existing HOS regulations, but it also allows the trucks to run continuously for up to 22 hours a day. And even more impressive, by using ARC, these same two drivers will move twice the amount of freight as a pair of team drivers and four times the number of loads as a single driver over a 24-hour period. The resulting increase in pay and greater at-home time directly address key issues that are currently causing high driver turnover and driver shortage.
Driver Compensation: The systems and technology being developed by Locomation will create new, premium truck driver jobs. These jobs will likely pay higher wages because those ARC operators will haul more loads and reduce operating cost of carriers by up to 19%. This increased profitability will allow ARC customers to pay premium wages to drivers that operate ARC systems, while also allowing them to lower costs for shippers and increase their own bottom line.
Driver Retention: The mental and physical toll of being on the road 28 days out of a month for over the road (OTR) drivers, along with uncertain paychecks, takes a toll on driver’s well-being. With ARC, drivers are projected to only spend 10 days out of the month away from home and substantially increase their at-home time. Couple this with higher take-home pay and we’re guaranteeing an improved driver quality of life and boosting driver retention rates.
Truck Parking: There currently is only one spot for every 11 trucks today. Because of this, drivers waste an average of 56 minutes every day looking for parking – time they could be making money. This wasted time amounts to a $5,500 loss in annual wages – or a 12% annual pay cut. And regrettably, 58% of all drivers admit to parking illegally three times per week. Locomation’s ARC system helps address the truck parking crisis by keeping the trucks moving up to 22 hours per day, and out of the parking lots.
Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities: Our Digital Transportation System (DTS) helps carriers optimize loads and set up relays along the Autonomous Relay NetworkSM (ARN). Today, the average truck is making money for roughly one-third of the day, or 6.5 of the available 11 hours. The increased efficiencies that come with identifying and routing loads with a hub-to-hub model will greatly reduce, or even eliminate, detention and wait times. This will allow drivers and carriers to maximize their HOS by keeping trucks moving freight and not detained for countless hours waiting for loads.
There may not be one silver bullet to address all of the industry pain points, but by relentlessly focusing on our customer’s needs we are able to use Locomation technology today to make commercial trucking more efficient, safer, and profitable for all involved.