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Could autonomous trucking fix the global driver shortage challenge?

AMG Logistics

Necessity they say is the mother of invention. What really gives growth to technology is when it is attached to a need.

When it comes to freight movements, a megatrend driving the need for better technology is the driver shortage.

Although, the driver shortage has not really been a major challenge in Africa as of now, if you are a follower of global trends in the logistics and transportation sector, you would agree that driver shortage has become a major challenge in some parts of Europe and America in recent time.

One thing that would most revolutionize trucking over the next few years? The most probable answer would be autonomous trucking. The question now would be that when will this technology be available at an operational level? Could this take a decade from now or perhaps in the next few years to come?

The answer to the above question will be dependent on what type of autonomous technology that is been considered. Which of the following technologies are we considering (if not all)?

  • Assisted driving technology?

  • Autonomous trucks in the truck yard?

  • Autonomous truck convoys?

  • Autonomous trucks moving on the interstate?

These technologies all have different timelines as regards their availability.

The driver shortage

It appears the ongoing truck driver shortage is not going away anytime soon, as more older drivers retire, and firms struggle to recruit a younger workforce. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry is currently short of 80,000 drivers.

Increased pay is seen to be compounding the problem, as drivers don’t have to spend as much time on the road to make the money they desire. Also, regulations as regards drug testing, licensing qualifications, and safety enforcement, as a matter of fact, cannot be said to be bad things, however, these add to the challenges that carriers face in attracting and recruiting drivers.

This clearly is a critical challenge.

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AMG Logistics is a Lagos-based TRACE certified logistics company. Our services include Freight Forwarding, Customs Clearance, Trucking, Distribution, and Warehousing within Nigeria.

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