News, Insights and Best Practices for Manufacturing in Mexico

Nearshoring may pave way for driverless trucks

29 Apr 2016

Category: Logistics Management

Moving offshore facilities to neighboring countries provides companies with a variety of benefits and opportunities for innovation. The EBN network, an online supply chain community, suggested a primary advantage is shortening supply and distribution routes, which allows companies to reevaluate and streamline transportation procedures.

Finished products that once had to be flown or shipped over the ocean to consumers can now be transported via trucks. Businesses that build manufacturing facilities in Mexico can save money through reduced labor costs and optimal trade agreements while also investing in new fixed assets that will reduce transportation costs. In some instances, companies may want to examine the benefits offered by innovative business products.

For example, driverless vehicles have gone from sci-fi possibility to an eventual option businesses need to consider, according to Supply Chain Logistics. More companies design automated cars, and industries need to research the potential cost and benefits while governments prepare the necessary infrastructure for remote vehicles. Moving operations to Mexico may be just the opportunity a company needs to consider the future of driverless supply chain fleets.

Using driverless trucks for the transportation of manufactured goods presents an opportunity to have safer logistics operations.Moving operations to Mexico could also be an opportunity to consider the future of driverless fleets.

A driverless world
Many governments and federal regulators debate the practicality and safety of vehicle automation, while some organizations do everything they can to push the technology forward.

Popular Mechanics recently reported The Central North American Trade Corridor Association is considering creating a corridor along U.S. Route 83 exclusively for driverless transportation fleets. The project stems from the need to move North Dakota oil but would be open to companies with remote vehicles distributing products to and from South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Manitoba community in Mexico.

Aside from roads free from traffic, automated delivery fleets offer businesses other benefits. Drivers can only work for so long before they need to eat or sleep, while smart technology can operate without breaks. Driverless trucks will also follow carefully designed routes to the letter, without human error interfering with efficiency.

Safety is a major advantage presented by driverless vehicle advocates. Over 800 supply chain drivers died in 2015. Its the most dangerous job in the U.S., and TechCrunch said companies investigate intelligent options to reduce the possibility of accidents. Mistakes on the road not only place people in danger, but they also bring supply chains to a halt.

Considering new options
Automated business fleets may be smart investments, but there are potential setbacks. Removing drivers will eliminate a source of employment, not to mention dealing a blow to businesses that depend on truckers like gas stations and roadside diners. Focusing on the business's bottom line, some decision-makers show concern for the security of business assets that operate without human supervision.

Security is often a concern for companies operating out of foreign countries. Many businesses work with Mexican shelter services to remove fear caused by misinformation and to select locations and routes removed from high-risk areas. If a company debates the possibility of any new business asset for nearshoring operations, shelter services can deliver information about the local environment and possible opportunities to help organization leaders anticipate the actual value of investments.

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