How the International Forwarding Association views the future of logistics when it comes to self-driving vehicles
The advent of self-driving vehicles is seen as a potential game-changer by the European logistics network when it comes to the future of logistics and all international freight services provided.
Although these self-driving vehicles are still are in a very early stage of development, they are perceived as having a serious impact on the future of all of the European logistics services provided by the international freight forwarders from IFA.
It is a matter of time when the forwarders throughout Europe will begin using self-driving trucks for their international freight forwarding, specialized transportation, refrigeration transport, European groupage services and all other services provided.
The members of the international freight forwarders association are well aware that the autonomous vehicles have a true potential of changing and revolutionizing all services provided by the European network for transportation.
Already, autonomous vehicles are being used by some freight forwarders for the storage and distribution of the goods and cargo in the warehouses and container terminals of the freight forwarders network.
It is a matter of time when such self-driving vehicles will be used for long-haul international freight forwarding, as well as for last mile distribution and delivery services by the members of the freight forwarders association.
What are the potential benefits of using self-driving vehicles by the freight transport association?
Today, the international freight forwarders network is faced with problems with a shortage of drivers, especially for specialized forwarding services, such as the transport of hazardous goods, humanitarian logistics, and others.
Also, the payment for the drivers from the European logistics companies makes up for 30% of the cost for the freight forwarding services provided.
By deploying autonomous vehicles, both of these serious problems which the freight forwarders Europe are facing can easily be solved.
Another benefit of using self-driving vehicles by the list of logistics companies is that they can travel at a higher speed, and reach the final destinations faster, as there are no 24/7 driver bans or driving time regulations which the human drivers face.
The autonomous vehicles will help improve the green logistics as well, as they can be programmed to drive as economically as possible.
Potential problems with deploying self-driving vehicles
By adding autonomous vehicles to the fleet of the freight forwarders directory, there will be a need for trained and specialized dispatchers who have to monitor multiple vehicles and apply timely remote control in various traffic situations. This can be quite complicated especially when it comes to intermodal logistics which involve combining intermodal transportation services.
Special platforms will need to be implemented, as well as new types of platooning of the vehicles for their proper management and tracking during the transport.
When will autonomous driving become a reality for the logistics business?
It is still early to give an exact prognosis when the deployment of the first self-driving trucks for forwarding will happen. There are a number of obstacles which need to be passed first. Number one is the advancement of the technology of these self-driving vehicles, until they become safe to use on the European roads, no matter the traffic or weather conditions.
Let’s hope that we will be able to see the first self-driving vehicles on the roads of the Old Continent pretty soon!