By Tom Kroswek
Vice President, Strategy & Business Development
Tom Kroswek is a logistics and engineering professional with 30+ years of experience in supply chain engineering, transportation analysis, inbound manufacturing support, and distribution/fulfillment operations. Throughout his career, Tom has immersed himself in data analytics, logistics engineering, supply chain analysis, project management, business development and operations management. He worked for over 27 years with Ryder Global Supply Chain Solutions in Supply Chain Excellence and Product Development, culminating in the role of Group Director of Product Development and Innovation. He was the lead inventor and co-awarded a patent for Ryder’s Logistics Release, a proprietary process and technology to control material flow to line-side. Tom started his career in logistics and supply chain and worked 6 years in various roles with Frito- Lay, Inc. Tom holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Wayne State University and a BBA from Saginaw Valley State University with a major in Accounting and minors in Finance, Economics and General Business.
Today, too many truck assets sit idle and underutilized for the vast majority of the day. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the average asset utilization (wheels rolling) per driver per day is less than 7.5 hours out of an available 11 hours of drive time per driver per day. From a return-on-asset perspective, which is key to high performance in this asset-based capital intensive industry, that’s a big problem.
There is a technology that can help – autonomous trucks. Instinctively, carriers and shippers know this is true. Locomation is building a portfolio of autonomous truck technologies, beginning with our Autonomous Relay Convoy™ (ARC) system, an early market mover, and progressing through to solo autonomous trucks.
Knowing that autonomous trucks are coming, the question becomes how does a carrier or shipper successfully implement an autonomous truck service and when should they start?
At Locomation, we help our customers by starting with their existing freight network and lane balance to determine where the gaps are, what the expected value of implementing autonomy is, and where they should focus their efforts. We have created the Autonomous Relay Network℠ which provides the network and scheduling algorithms to get two loads to originate at the same place and time and head in the same direction. This creates a new and highly profitable way to plan and route freight for autonomy. Combining the ARC technology with this relay network, we discovered an enormous $0.40 per mile in cost savings and double the revenue per truck per day in opportunity for our customers.
Arguably, this is the largest potential economic opportunity for participants since the founding of the trucking industry. So how does it work?
The interstate highway system consists of 46 individual highways, not counting bypass segments. Using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Locomation has identified 68 interstate segments that can be utilized to plan daily trips. When we drilled down further on a customer-by-customer or shipper-by-shipper basis, we were able to engineer even shorter, highly profitable relay segments that would also enable carriers to get drivers home on a regular basis, including every night as desired, and still get maximum utilization out of both the drivers and the assets every day.
We also found that understanding our customers’ freight networks through this lens is actually highly profitable even before their deployment of the autonomous truck systems. The exercise alone can produce a 5-7% improvement in operating profit.
Why this matters is that our customers now have the potential to quadruple profitability on every single load. Anyone who has been in trucking for any length of time, will understand the enormity of what this means.
With our freight network analysis and custom optimization services, shippers and carriers can select valuable routes for Autonomous Relay Convoys that meet their customers’ needs and maximize the efficiency of their entire network. This opens vast new planning opportunities in their current operation as well as in future autonomy service offerings.
To help capitalize on this opportunity every day, Locomation is designing the network and scheduling algorithms to get two loads heading in the same direction at the same time, forming a convoy. This novel patent-pending approach means a new way to plan and route freight for autonomy, which is not only highly profitable today but precisely engineered for autonomous services tomorrow. Because when a freight network is engineered for autonomy, the fine-tuning exercise alone will produce higher utilization and more freight density than one can imagine.
Bottom line, Locomation believes that at full operational strength, its convoy system will cut operating costs by 30%, increase equipment utilization by 31%, and increase driver utilization by 250%. It will also eliminate more than 30 metric tons of carbon dioxide per tractor annually and increase driver at-home time.
Drop us a note at @locomation.ai to find out more.