Chicago trucking logistics technologies from LTL to ELD

Sep 20, 2022


John Ostler - CoFounder of Eight Bit Studios

Technology is always changing, and the trucking logistics space is no different. New technologies are being developed and used all the time to help trucking companies better manage their fleets and operations. 

Technology is always changing, and the trucking logistics space is no different. New technologies are being developed and used all the time to help trucking companies better manage their fleets and operations. 

For those of you considering getting into the space from a product or technology side from a team who got a crash course creating mobile and web app solutions for the world class team at @Echo logistics, here are just a few of the new technologies being used in the trucking logistics space:

Automated Dispatching

This technology automates the dispatch process, making it easier and faster for trucking companies to get their loads where they need to go.

As the trucking industry continues to grow, so does the demand for qualified drivers. In an effort to meet this demand, many trucking companies have turned to automated dispatching in order to more efficiently manage their drivers and shipments. Here, we will take a look at the pros and cons of automated dispatching in trucking logistics.


  1. Increased Efficiency: Automated dispatching can help to increase the efficiency of your trucking operation by eliminating the need for manual input of data. This can free up your dispatchers to focus on other tasks, such as customer service and driver recruitment.

  2. Greater Accuracy: Automated dispatching can also help to improve the accuracy of your shipments. This is because the system can automatically verify the route and destination of each shipment before it is dispatched.

  3. Improved Customer Service: By providing your customers with accurate information regarding their shipment, you can improve your level of customer service. This can lead to repeat business and referrals.


  1. Initial Cost: The initial cost of implementing an automated dispatching system can be prohibitive for some trucking companies.

  2. Requires Training: Your dispatchers will need to be trained on how to use the new system. This can take some time and may require the use of outside consultants.

  3. May be Undependable: As with any new system, there is always the possibility that it may be glitchy or undependable. This could lead to disruptions in your operation and frustrated customers.

Overall, the pros of automated dispatching seem to outweigh the cons. If you are considering implementing this system in your trucking company, be sure to weigh the cost and benefit to see if it is right for you.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of tracking vehicles, and trucking logistics is no different. This technology helps companies keep track of their vehicles, and helps them plan and optimize their routes. There are a number of advantages that come with using GPS tracking for trucking logistics, including:


  1. Increased Efficiency - GPS tracking can help to increase the efficiency of your trucking logistics operation by providing real-time information on the location of your vehicles. This can help you to plan the most efficient routes, and avoid delays caused by traffic or other unforeseeable events.

  2. Improved Customer Service - GPS tracking can also help to improve customer service, as you will be able to provide your customers with accurate information on the estimated time of arrival of their goods. This can be particularly useful for time-sensitive deliveries.

  3. Enhanced Security - In addition to improved efficiency and customer service, GPS tracking can also provide enhanced security for your trucking operation. This is because you will be able to track the location of your vehicles at all times, which can help to deter and investigate theft or other criminal activity.


Despite the many advantages of GPS tracking, there are also a few potential disadvantages that should be considered before implementing this technology in your trucking operation. These include:

  1. Increased Costs - One of the main disadvantages of GPS tracking is the increased cost that is associated with the technology. GPS tracking devices must be purchased and installed in each vehicle, and there may also be monthly fees for the use of the tracking service.

  2. Privacy Concerns - Another potential issue with GPS tracking is the potential for privacy concerns. Some people may not be comfortable with the idea of being tracked at all times, and this could lead to resistance from employees or customers.

  3. Accuracy Issues - Finally, it is important to note that GPS tracking is not always 100% accurate. There may be times when the tracking device loses its signal or the data is not updated in real-time, which could lead to inaccurate information being displayed.

There are a number of pros and cons to GPS tracking in trucking logistics. On the plus side, GPS tracking can help fleet managers keep track of their trucks, monitor driver behavior, and optimize routes. It can also help reduce fuel costs and improve customer service by providing real-time ETAs. On the downside, GPS tracking can be expensive, and it can invade drivers' privacy. Some GPS tracking systems also have trouble tracking trucks in rural areas.

Electronic Logging Devices

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now required for all trucks in the United States. These devices track a truck's hours of service, and help to ensure that drivers are not working too long or driving too far.

As the trucking industry looks for ways to improve safety and efficiency, many companies are turning to electronic logging devices (ELDs). ELDs are devices that track a truck's location, speed, and hours of operation. While there are many benefits to using ELDs, there are also some drawbacks that companies should consider before making the switch.


  1. Increased Safety - One of the main benefits of ELDs is that they can help make the roads safer. By tracking a truck's hours of operation, ELDs can help prevent drivers from exceeding the hours of service limit. This can help reduce the number of fatigued drivers on the road, which can lead to fewer accidents.

  2. Improved Efficiency - ELDs can also help improve the efficiency of trucking operations. By tracking a truck's location and speed, dispatchers can more easily plan routes and ensure that drivers are staying on schedule. This can lead to shorter transit times and fewer delays.

  3. Reduced Paperwork - ELDs can help reduce the amount of paperwork that trucking companies have to deal with. Since ELDs automatically track a truck's hours of operation, there is no need for drivers to fill out paper logs. This can save a significant amount of time and money.


  1. Initial Cost - One of the main drawbacks of ELDs is the initial cost. ELDs can be expensive to purchase and install, and there is also a monthly service fee that must be paid. This can be a significant expense for small trucking companies.

  2. Learning Curve - Another drawback of ELDs is that there is a learning curve for both drivers and dispatchers. Drivers must learn how to use the ELDs, and dispatchers must learn how to interpret the data they receive. This can take some time and lead to frustration.

  3. Privacy Concerns - Some drivers and trucking companies have privacy concerns about ELDs. Since ELDs track a truck's location, speed, and hours of operation, some people feel that this information could be used to unfairly target drivers.

  4. Telematics - Telematics is a technology that combines GPS tracking with other data, like engine data and vehicle diagnostics. This information can be used to help trucking companies improve their fleet management and operations.

  5. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems - Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are becoming more common in trucks. These systems can help with things like lane keeping, braking, and other safety features.

Fleet Maintenance Systems

Fleet maintenance systems are used to help manage and monitor the maintenance of vehicles in a fleet. Fleet maintenance systems can help reduce vehicle downtime and improve fleet uptime.


  1. A fleet maintenance system can save a trucking company time and money by keeping track of a fleet’s maintenance needs.

  2. A well-maintained fleet can mean fewer breakdowns and accidents, and less downtime for repairs.

  3. A fleet maintenance system can help a trucking company plan and budget for future maintenance and repairs.


  1. A fleet maintenance system can be expensive to set up and maintain.

  2. A fleet maintenance system can be complex to use, and may require training for staff.

  3. A fleet maintenance system may not be able to cover every type of maintenance and repair needed for a fleet of trucks.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

A WMS is a software system that helps manage all aspects of warehouse operations, including receiving, putaway, picking, and shipping. WMS systems can help improve efficiencies and optimize performance by reducing costs, improving asset utilization, and reducing transit times.


  1. A WMS can improve the accuracy of inventory data.

  2. It automates and optimizes warehouse operations.

  3. It can improve customer service by reducing lead times.

  4. A WMS can improve the utilization of space and labor in the warehouse.


  1. WMS can be expensive to implement and maintain.

  2. WMS can be complex to configure and customize.

  3. WMS can require significant changes to warehouse operations.

Supply Chain Management Systems (SCM)

A SCM system is a software system that helps manage all aspects of the supply chain, from procurement to manufacturing to distribution. SCM systems can help improve efficiencies and optimize performance by reducing costs, improving asset utilization, and reducing transit times.


  1. Improved coordination between different parties involved in the supply chain

  2. Reduced transportation costs through more efficient route planning

  3. Improved visibility of goods movement throughout the supply chain

  4. Better tracking and tracing of goods


  1. Initial investment costs can be high

  2. Complexity of the system can lead to implementation issues

  3. Requires a high level of cooperation and communication between different parties

  4. May require changes to existing business processes

Whether you’re starting or expanding your fleet, updating your dispatch or beginning to do more bookings through automated systems, it’s important to understand that there are a multitude of new systems in their infancy that can improve and streamline your ability to ship.

Looking for a partner to help you navigate the logistics space, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always looking for new partner who can leverage our knowledge in digital product, software development, and logistics to expert use.