Americas Systems

Americas Systems


From the changing landscape of where products and services are sourced, to regulatory actions that require substantial systems modifications, to security and collaboration, these are exciting times to be in transportation information technology.

Having said that, there are two developments that we expect to have pervasive impacts on our end of the industry. The announcement by Wal-Mart that it will implement radio frequency identification technology with all its vendors will establish de-facto standards and will spawn a chain reaction in the industry. That, plus tracking technologies that may spring from the Department of Homeland Security's initiatives to secure the upply chain, will provide much-needed equipment visibility and transparency.

What excites me the most about these developments is the potential to apply IT to address longstanding, chronic industry challenges. Industry-wide equipment visibility would certainly make applications that focus on equipment rationalization and utilization far easier for us to develop. And greater visibility will help us improve age-old per diem/demurrage management challenges.

These developments will also support the ongoing evolution of transportation logistics collaboration between shippers and their transport providers. Better equipment visibility will help carriers plan their equipment availability and thereby help shippers to develop better allocation plans and routing guides. Our shipper-carrier portals can then rely on stronger rules and fewer exceptions.