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As the year 2013 winds down, it is time to reflect on the major transportation trends of the past year.  While I saw and read about a wide range of developments, these are the ones that resonated most with me.

1.Technology Comes to Freight Transportation

Last year I predicted that we would see a flurry of new technologies come to freight transportation.  They did and I wrote about some of these new companies on several occasions during the year.  Technology was successfully applied to the freight brokerage business, freight portals, LTL density calculations and to other segments of the industry.  Buytruckload.com, PostBidShip, Freightopolis, QuoteMyTruckload,  and Freightsnap were featured in various blogs during the year.  They are changing the way business is done in freight transportation.  Watch for more of these companies to surface in 2014.

2013 has been called the Year of the Network by numerous supply chain and transportation industry thought leaders.  Companies that built a successful supply chain trading partner network focused on three elements:

Connectivity— unite disparate systems and trading partners

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At the end of each year, I like to take stock of the major freight transportation stories of the past twelve months and look ahead to the trends that will drive the industry in the coming year.  The two blogs that I write are prepared from my perspective as a consultant to shippers and carriers.

This year I would like to hear from you.  Those of you who follow this blog observe trends in your segment of the industry.  Please take a minute to share them with me.  Please post them on this blog or send a private e mail to dan@dantranscon.com

Please feel free to select any major trend or trends that are having or will have a major impact on our industry, whether regulatory, economic, technological, demographic, consumer behavior, environmental, modal shifts or business strategy.

To broaden the range of inputs and perspectives, I will also post this request on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  In the coming weeks I will be preparing my two lists.  The lists will include a blend of my observations and yours.  Look for these two blogs in mid-December.  Thank you to those of you who take the time to share your observations with me.

 

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I have been writing a blog on the transportation industry for five years.  During this period I have received hundreds of postings and e mails from readers.  Every now and then I receive an e mail that stands out.  This week I received a thoughtful and interesting e mail and article from a truck driver, David Robson.  In the article, he shares his thoughts on what trucking companies can do to improve driver retention and increase trucking company profits.  With permission, here is an edited version of the article.

 The Future of the Professional Driver

“I was looking up the top 50 trucking companies and reviewed a few of the well-known companies CSA scores from the FMCSA website.  I was surprised and disappointed with what I saw.  Many of these carriers advertise on the backs of their trailers, “We hire only safe and professional drivers.”   If you saw their CSA scores I would think that the owners would be embarrassed to display those signs.  Perhaps the owners are not aware of their scores.

The first thing I noticed was that many were near the 60% intervention score. The other common factor involved “Subject to Placardable HM Threshold.“

I found some violations that were commonly high among most of the carriers.

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