Tech, tech everywhere, but not a drop of planning… yet.

Published January 19, 2023

by Chuck Toye, Leaf Logistics

As we look ahead to 2023, I couldn’t help but think about all the wonderful technologies I’ve seen in my travels this past year: 

  • Full-featured load-boards for spot (or near-spot) freight, 
  • Electronic RFP/quoting tools, 
  • A myriad of payment and factoring tools for logistics service providers, 
  • TMS systems that continue to improve to hold routing guide rates, and 
  • Real-time tracking systems (with pictures) of my truck, trailer or last-mile package. 

To top that all off, in November, I watched a full size, 53 foot rig drive around Chattanooga using Autonomous Vehicle technology. That’s quite a feat of engineering and something straight out of the Jetsons. Bravo!

However, none of these fantastic technologies are focused on the right problem. None of them help make transportation more predictable, more reliable, or better coordinated. None of them help shippers, carriers or brokers sleep better at night. If anything, some of these technologies make it easier to keep operating within the current transportation system, and maybe even exacerbate future uncertainty.

Despite all this brilliant technology, and convention after convention of brilliant minds pressing hard to solve transportation’s biggest problems, the number one question everyone asked everywhere I went was, “where does this market go next?”

Until we solve the fundamental problem with the way transportation is offered and procured, this market will continue to fluctuate every few years. And each year, dozens of conventions with thousands of smart people will keep asking the same question over and over again…

Imagine if the market for freight rates didn’t fluctuate so much. Imagine if a transportation manager could reliably predict their freight costs every year, or even hedge those costs. Imagine if a broker or carrier could reliably predict the trajectory of their business because they knew how full their trucks would be. Imagine if over-the-road drivers could be home on a regular schedule, and didn’t turn over at 100%+ rates. And imagine if that reliability cut carbon emissions by 30-40% in the process. Who wouldn’t sign up for that tomorrow?

This is why Leaf is focused on that core problem. We are helping plan, schedule, and coordinate the future of transportation for everyone’s benefit… join us.