My New Career — The Trucking Industry
After an awesome three years at Uber that I will forever be grateful for, I have just started a new job leading the Product, Data Science and Design orgs at KeepTruckin. In the course of deciding upon this move, I have learnt more than I ever expected to know about the long-haul trucking space and would love to share why I made this choice.
Without exaggeration, trucking is the life-blood of our modern economy. Trucks move over 70% of the nation’s freight by tonnage, moving nearly 11 billion tons of freight annually. This represents 200+ pounds per person per day! While trucks represent 10% of miles traveled on our highways, given that an average truck runs at 6 mpg as opposed to 18+mpg for a car, they also represent a disproportionate share of fuel consumption in our country. Finally, trucking is a critical source of employment for over 3.6 million truckers, and more than 8 million folks who support the long-haul industry.
For various structural reasons that I won’t go into in this post, the long-haul freight industry is highly fragmented with thousands of small fleets. Due to this fragmentation, the ability to create a holistic picture and deeply understand how the industry operates has been limited.
Enter the ELD Mandate. Trucking has always operated with a set of safety rules around hours of service and other aspects that ensure drivers have enough rest when they are on the road and can drive safely at all times. Historically, this has been self-reported on paper. But at the end of 2017, a new mandate required the use of an Electronic Log Device to collect moving times and other data from truck onboard systems. Now, most trucks have such a device installed and by the end of next year, all trucks built within the last 20 years will have one as well.
This is a crucial opportunity for the freight industry as a whole. Rich data from these devices gives us our deepest insight ever into trucking. Simultaneously, the progress in Machine Learning allows us to extract maximal optimization from this data.
What does this mean in terms of practical applications? We can use this data to:
- Drive improvements in safety, saving lives while driving insurance costs down
- Maintain vehicle health and reduce fuel consumption
- Improve planning and routing, saving time and fuel
- Reduce the number of miles driven empty (either going to pick up a load or coming back from dropping off a load)
- and many, many more…
All of these translate to ->
- Reduced accident rates on the highways
- Lower costs for shipping which translates to cheaper goods for all of us
- Improved pay and lifestyle for truckers — one of the hardest working professions in the country
Talk about an exciting mission!
KeepTruckin saw this opportunity and built a modern Electronic Log Device (ELD) to serve the need of truckers as the mandate came into effect. Over the course of the last two years, it has established itself as the leading player in the space of Fleet Management. In fact, it is the most popular device amongst the small to mid sized fleets that dominate trucking. At this point, KeepTruckin ELDs are installed on hundreds of thousands of trucks across the United States.
KeepTruckin has also continuously expanded its offering — with cameras for tracking safety, fleet visibility to operators, document transfer and many other capabilities for fleet management.
The end result is one of the most comprehensive and rich datasets on how trucks operate in the United States.
Our goal is to solve all the problems I discussed above. Our current (and growing) footprint in the trucking industry means that we are incredibly well positioned to do so with richer data than any other participant in the trucking ecosystem.
I’m super excited to work on such a rewarding set of problems in a company that is leading the revolution at an opportune moment in the history of trucking.
Made it all the way through? Still interested? We’re hiring in every possible role — including engineering, data science, product management and others. Reach out to me!
For more interesting statistics on freight transportation, go here.