It’s finally time for F3: Future of Freight Festival and we are live and in person! The building is abuzz with old friends and new businesses making their presences known.
My job for the event is to “shake hands, kiss babies, enjoy the event, and pass out copious amounts of swag.” And the amount of guests and vendors that recognized the Back The Truck Up logo was pleasantly surprising to me, and it was nice to know they wanted the opinions of the truck drivers and warehouse workers that keep the freight train rolling.
Yes, there were vendors, displays and events that pertained to the everyday truck driver
“The largest party in logistics,” as I have dubbed F3, is off to a rocking start. The aisles are filled with great displays and promotions from a multitude of vendors of all sizes. From new startups in their very own “StartUp Alley” to the trucking elite such as J.B. Hunt, Amazon and U.S. Xpress, the Future of Freight Festival had it all.
Some other names truckers would also recognize, Motive (formerly known as KeepTruckin), Trucker Path, Truckstop.com and Transflo, had great displays promoting their tools and showing off new technologies. And yes, there was an automated truck ride-and-drive from Plus.AI available as well. I’ll go into that adventure in a dedicated article coming soon.
Even though F3 is not directly targeted to truckers, I did not see one display that a well-minded driver could not take something away from talking to the vendors, salespeople, and corporate leadership. What they are promoting at F3 might not affect you directly, but it could influence the industry around you. And a smart driver would be paying close attention to the influencers and decision makers.
CEOs of billion dollar companies want “your” opinion about the future of freight
Not only was I asking questions to the company representatives, but they were tracking me down to see what I thought on issues affecting the industry. I’m not a college-educated, professionally trained consultant by any means, but I’ll give it to you if you wish. It might be as blunt as a 2×4, but at least you can use it to build something better.
The main questions I was asked were mainly about the opinions of driver and owner-operators on the state of the market. O/Os have begun a “survival of the fittest,” with those that cannot survive leaving the industry entirely, causing available capacity to shrink. Those that want to continue being a truck driver are being absorbed by the enterprise carrier with the best pay and sign-on bonuses.
Other questions were on the idea of driver-facing cameras, speed limiters, hours of service rules and how to best pay truck drivers (mileage versus hourly). I hope my opinion and advice helps make the trucking world a better place.
There are more articles coming next week on Back The Truck Up’s adventures at F3, so keep the notifications turned on and subscribe to the podcast and newsletter!