Technology in the Transportation Industry | Weekly News Update

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Technology in the Transportation Industry

Several stories highlighting Technology in the transportation industry broke last week.  Project44, a software provider that connects transportation operations in the supply chain, raised $35 million in funding to expand beyond their North American business.  They plan to expand their rail, trucking, and parcel services into ocean shipping and in the European and Asian markets.  The company’s main goal is to connect one individual company to the next, providing visibility throughout the entire supply chain.

Bloomberg reported that Blockchain Is About to Revolutionize the Shipping Industry—an industry that still relies on millions of paper documents.  Maersk, APL, and Hyundai are teaming up with technology companies to upgrade the logistics network.  To make it work thousands of manufacturers, banks, insurers, brokers, and port authorities will have to adapt their systems onto one platform.  If successful, documentation that takes days will take minutes and will reduce almost all human input.

Advanced Clean Transportation believes there will be a technology tipping point between Autonomy and Electrification.  With autonomous technology advancing, it may simultaneously push forward the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).  Most autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be produced as EVs and many AVs being tested are powered by electricity.  Automation and electric vehicles will help the trucking industry cut down costs, and many believe the trucking industry will be the first to adopt AVs since freight movements on highways are more predictable than driving on urban roads.

In Other News


Bloomberg: VW Truck Division Signals Possible Takeover of U.S.’s Navistar

Increased ties could be part of German manufacturer’s revamp Volkswagen AG’s heavy-vehicle division is open to a takeover of U.S. affiliate Navistar International Corp. as the German company seeks scale to compete with global leaders Daimler AG and Volvo AB.

FreightWaves: Top 5 ways to be a “shipper of choice”

Becoming a “shipper of choice” is a decision. It doesn’t just happen. It’s also easier said than done. It takes strategic thinking and a commitment to professional consistency. For all intents and purposes, 2018 has become the year of the capacity crunch. Experts from all segments of the industry are feeling it—and seeing it in the data—and no one really expects it to let up any time soon. While the economic pendulum swings back and forth in terms of who benefits, right now the freight market favors carriers. There’s a lot at stake for shippers, but whether it’s for the long or short-term, becoming a shipper of choice benefits the entire supply chain, not the least of which are drivers’ experiences.


WSJ: Logistics Tech Provider project44 Raises $35 Million in New Funding

Logistics technology provider project44, which builds software that connects transportation operations in the supply chain, has raised $35 million in venture-capital funding to expand beyond its North American base.

Lloyd’s List: ExxonMobil to supply low Sulphur fuels in 2020

Amid concerns about compliant-fuel shortages, oil majors have reassured the industry that the necessary amounts will be available. ExxonMobil is using its own technology to claim one share of what will likely be a lucrative market.

FreightWaves: Daseke bets heavy on oil with Aveda acquisition

Daseke, Inc., a major consolidator in open deck and specialized heavy haul trucking, has acquired Aveda Transportation and Energy Services, a Canadian asset-based provider of oilfield services covering Alberta, North Dakota, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Next-Gen Transportation: RNG Bill Moves Forward in California

the California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications advanced a pro-renewable natural gas (RNG) bill. S.B.1440 would create additional market certainty for projects that use the state’s food waste, agricultural waste, landfill gas and wastewater resources to create RNG.


WSJ: Total Makes Latest Power Play with Electricity Deal

Total SA, the French oil giant, said it would pay €1.4 billion ($1.73 billion) for a majority stake in electricity provider Direct Energie, the latest step in the company’s strategy to become a power player.  Also reported by Platts

WSJ: Is the U.S. Shale Boom Hitting a Bottleneck?

The oil field at the heart of the U.S. shale boom appears to be choking on its own growth, a surprising development with big ramifications for energy profits and global markets.

ACT News: Where’s the VW Money?

The Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement will provide an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate deployments of advanced clean transportation technologies and reduce harmful emissions.

WSJ: CSX Is Back on Track

In response to a series of problems that created bottlenecks across the railroad’s network, CSX chief executive Jim Foote went on what he called an “apology tour,” asking forgiveness of customers whose supply lines had been disrupted and promising improvements.

Bloomberg: Blockchain Is About to Revolutionize the Shipping Industry

Globalization has brought the most advanced trading networks the world has seen, with the biggest, fastest vessels, robot-operated ports and vast computer databases tracking cargoes. But it all still relies on millions and millions of paper documents.


FreightWaves: OPEC Cuts Output While U.S. Shale Steams Ahead

This month the McKinsey Global Institute released a discussion paper that measures the recent progress of artificial intelligence business applications and identifies industries and use cases where AI has the greatest potential to unlock value. The two most important takeaways are that the best AI systems have consistently outperformed humans since 2015, and specifically in the transport and logistics industry, AI can improve performance over other analytics techniques by 89%.

ACT News: Growing Link Between Autonomy and Electrification—A Technology Tipping Point?

The acceleration of EV transition could be on the verge of an interesting technology tipping point. As we quickly expand self-driving technology, it has the potential to accelerate the adoption of electrification and maximize the benefits of an EV—lower operational costs, less maintenance, and ubiquitously available domestic and diverse electricity as the fuel.


THE STAR: CP Rail starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train operations ahead of a possible strike set to start Saturday by two unionized workforces.  Later it was reported the strike will be postponed, reported by Reuters.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough®Fuel. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at

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