Whether you’re a carrier or a shipper, autonomous trucks (ATs) are in our industry’s future – and are coming at us quickly! But the typical benefits we hear about – safety, efficiency, the solution to driver shortages – mostly pertain to the carrier side. So what about shippers? How much will ATs change the day-to-day operations of a shipper?

In Logistics Viewpoints, JP Wiggins points out that shippers have been somewhat forgotten in the discussion and speculation around autonomous trucks, yet they stand to be effected in several interesting ways. His predictions of how ATs will impact shippers include:

  • Autonomous trucks in, live drivers out: As autonomous trucks are proven to be safer and more reliable, we’re likely to see laws restricting live drivers.
  • New mode considerations: Initially, ATs will essentially be similar to an intermodal move.
  • Route execution and your TMS: From a shipper’s perspective, ATs will work very similar to how intermodal is routed today. For instance, if your transportation management system (TMS) can handle a three-legged move with intermodal and pay three different parties already, ATs will not introduce much more complexity and can be treated very similar.

Go here to read more about JP’s predictions at Logistics Viewpoints and his look farther into the future.