There is no doubt about it, the future is coming and there is very little we can do about it. The one certainty in life is change, nothing ever remains the same, everything moves on, whether we like it or not.
Now some of the most powerful high-tech companies in the world are turning their greedy gaze on our industry, road freight. Uber has launched its Uber freight service with this YouTube video and we can be sure they have the money and the sheer economic and technical power to pull it off.
Another global tech giant, Amazon, is also looking into this space, seeking to ‘disrupt’ retail and particularly distribution. The company has been distributing – first books, and now a myriad of consumer goods – all over the world, so if it wants to get into retail distribution, it knows what it’s doing.
On the one hand, here in Australia, we know the winds of change will blow through the US and Europe first, so we will get some warning about what is about to hit us, but we may not be able to judge the scale of any possible changes. We need to keep an eye on what is happening in this space, this is our space and we need to be prepared for what the tsunami of automation and cloud-based transactions are going to do to our industry.
We can look at changes and think it will not happen in our particular little segment of the market, but the beauty, and the strength, of these new ways of doing business is the inbuilt flexibility they have, to be able to adapt to different situations and niche operations.
Things do move fast, faster than we expect. Just look at the car market – Tesla is taking off, Volvo is dropping new combustion engines after 2019 and France is going all-electric by 2040. The future is coming and it’s all just around the corner.