BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–On the same day Google made news for patenting a driverless delivery truck, industry forecaster FTR predicted trucking costs could decrease as much as a dollar per mile within the next 15 years.
Speaking on a Webinar about the current truck market, FTR senior consultant Noel Perry teased an upcoming Webinar that will examine in detail how this precipitous drop in transportation costs could become a reality.
“We are convinced very strongly that a digitally-fuelled technological revolution will dramatically reduce the cost of trucking and expand capacity at the same time,” Perry said.
He predicts trucking costs could go from about US$2.20 per mile today to about $1.20 per mile in 2030.
“We think this revolution is equally important to the economy of the US as the invention of the super-highways in the 1950s,” he said. “This is a big deal.”
Perry said there are three enablers at play: autonomous vehicles that may be able to deliver product without drivers; greater access to information, which will reduce downtime and waste, allowing trucks to operate around the clock; and the arrival of larger, heavier trucks which will be allowed due to the increased safety brought by automation.
“We fully expect that as highways are automated, larger trucks will be allowed,” Perry said. “Not only do you get better labour productivity and asset productivity but the trucks get bigger.”