I was a panelist at Mobility 21's (the Southern California Transportation Coalition) session, "Speed to Delivery: Goods Movement's High-Tech Future". We had a fascinating discussion with a panel of experts from Walmart, Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission and Paul Granillo, Kome Ajise, Elizabeth Fretheim, Fran Inman. One area with 100% agreement is that the Amazon Effect (inclusive of rapid deliveries, small shipments and easy returns) is the expectation.
For example, according to Fran, e-commerce is rising, master plan business parks are growing, omni-channel is taking over, the need for flexibility is at an all-time high and much more. We live in a complex environment and transportation is gaining a larger role. How will we deliver significantly more to Amazon-type customers? How will we address the challenges of the last mile? And certainly, in California specifically, how will we do all this with the traffic congestion? And with dramatically less emissions and with greater sustainability? Will Amazon start competing with UPS and FedEx and what sort of impact will it have? Let alone autonomous vehicles....
What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Who knew transportation could be so complex? As much as goes into transportation, consumers are trained to think of it as "free" (think Amazon Prime) and quick. That certainly provides two conflicting forces!
A good start is to absorb the vast topic transportation has become. Are you or someone in your company thinking about transportation from a strategic viewpoint? It doesn't matter whether you have zero e-commerce and transportation doesn't seem to be an issue. Your transportation assets and shared infrastructure will likely be impacted by the vast amount of change taking place. What might occur? Will UPS and FedEx respond to Amazon's moves? Will truck capacity increase with autonomous vehicles? Will your loads become more expensive because trucking companies have to invest in new infrastructure or will they becomes less expensive since an autonomous driver does not have to sleep and rest after 11 hours? And if you own your own fleet, there are many rules and regulations to consider.
Join us at APICS Inland Empire's executive panel and networking symposium to learn about the latest transportation trends, technologies and more.