Perhaps, you're missing your own logic, so eloquently exercised elsewhere - as I remember you. This is all dictated by the free market characteristics aka profit (greed) driven objectives.
1. Less human involvement means less cost. Such nuisances that one or two solo owner-operators will get stuck at a receiver for a few days pending another appointment are utterly negligible.
2. Further progress of technological advancements is there to serve this path. This is no more, no less, putting a noose on the working class neck.
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Automation isn't going to be the first big blow to the trucking industry, but it will be the final nail in the working-class coffin.
This is what I see coming.
1. Massive flood of illegal aliens.
2. Citizenship or at least work visas.
(Currently being discussed and pushed for)
3. Free or low cost vocational training.
(This would allow for self-sufficiency)
4. A flood of qualified, fully trained workers entering the workforce.
(Many, many of the illegal aliens want a better life and are willing to be trained and work for it)
5. The abundant workforce will lower the demand for employees and in turn lower wages.
(Excess willing workers population has always led to lower worker wages)
6. Lower overhead and more competition will lead to lower rates.
(Simply supply and demand)
I don't know how long it'll take but I think it will happen faster than people think it'll happen. I just hope I can get a retirement going before the working-class part of the industry collapses.
Trucking will remain but the wages won't be worth it to many who now are doing it. Brokers and drivers alike.
A few months ago, in another discussion regarding putting certain aspects of brokers' behavior under control, you expressed your objections as to how that control would stand against the free market philosophy - which, if I remember correctly- you described as the ultimate resultant force that the free World should adhere to as the only way to find fairness. In order to dispel your concerns about automation, the fruits of which are - among many others - McDonald's touchscreen ordering pads or app-based brokering tools that a lot of brokers implement in their business models, you'd have to hinder the free market processes leading to this development. And...to even have concerns or objections about implementing automation goes against the very belief that every aspect of our life should be reliant on the free market dictate.
Uber Freight and Convoy, most accurately, exemplify the process of brokerage automation.
Of course, at this stage, there is still a lot to be desired but they are precursors of the app based booking.
It is possible, literally, by clicking or rather touching the screen of the phone to book, pick up, and deliver - including obtaining the express code for lumpers, then processing the paperwork, and getting paid, without human interaction whatsoever.
The same is already possible with the other bigger brokerages: JB Hunt, Schneider, XPO, CH Robinson, and Coyote. Most of the interactions that happen are most likely to do with determining the rate as very rarely they post a load with a reasonable rate and either they call the carriers to convince them to go down from their bidding or vice versa.
As far as problems that require intervention from someone from a brokerage that has enough authority to make crucial decisions are very sporadic. In my own experience, they account for less than 2%.
Except for the first two: UBER Freight and Convoy, the other big brokerages, still have staff that you can establish more personalized contacts and use the app in conjunction with your rep that often enough has the ability to improve the rate or assist you with that load that you booked automatically. The way it works is that before bidding or booking, you simply call and tell them to give you more money. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.
Once automation hits, the free market (such as it barely exists even now) will cease to exist. The robber barons will have and maintain control, paying us only enough money so that we can afford to buy things from the company store.
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