Advancements in the logistics industry continue to reduce risk and lessen environmental impact. Two examples of this are the new Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) and Liquefied Natural Gas engines (LNG engines). Both of these are helpful to carriers as well as anyone involved in the logistics industry.
Fatigue Risk Management System
While TMS (Transportation Management Systems) are being utilized by more and more shippers across the U.S., there is also some great technology available to help carriers. This new carrier technology includes FRMS (Fatigue Risk Management System), which fleets are now using to keep their teams in-line with hours of service and work rest rules.
The FRMS technology reduces carrier risk by making it easier to follow hours of service rules, and it also has the capability of connecting directly to their scheduling system. This becomes helpful when a carrier needs to quickly find other drivers with extra hours that can pick up extra hours while abiding by guidelines. The FRMS is stocked with actuarial tools that can automatically determine if a schedule would create too much driver fatigue. These tools have come about thanks to many sleep studies and the growing understanding of fatigue factors. This can be crucial to reducing risk since driver fatigue is a major concern in driver and road safety. Since the FRMS technology tracks hours, fatigue likelihood, and other related issues, this carrier technology can help in investigations by provide accurate data driven tools.
Liquefied Natural Gas Engines
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engine trucks are in beta testing currently, and FedEx is one of the first to be testing this new technology. This is the first time a LNG engine is able to handle the power and size requirements of a Class 8 truck. LNG engine trucks could have a significantly positive impact on the environment since natural gas burns cleaner than diesel.
FedEx is testing the LNG engine trucks with their line haul operations out of Dallas where it is possible for a truck to log over 1,000 miles per day. This will make it easier to obtain results fairly quickly. Other potential environmental improvements to the logistics industry include the following: emission-free hydrogen fuel, cell-powered, and electric forklifts for dock operations, SmartWay-approved tires to improve fuel mileage, and SmartWay-approved trailer skirts to aid in aerodynamics and lessened fuel consumption.