Innovation Helps Haul Waberer’s on Road to Success

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A driver shortage in the transportation industry is spurring revolutionary changes, Hungarian haulage company Waberer’s tells the Budapest Business Journal. As such, the most important areas of innovation include better capacity utilization in terms of drivers and vehicles – including alternative engine technologies – before autonomous driving might change the way we think about transportation.

As part of the process, Waberer’s says it has called upon decision makers in the EU to revise the planned regulation of driving and rest periods in the transportation industry. The company has also reached out to clients for modification of their logistics processes in order to shorten waiting periods.

Innovation is among Waberer’s declared corporate values and the company says it is constantly looking for the latest developments in its operational field. As such, the company says it puts a strong focus on modernization, both internally and in cooperation with partners. Additionally, the firm is open to take part in partners’ R&D projects.  

“We want to be the first to adopt cutting-edge technologies to enhance our efficiency and strengthen our market leading position in Europe, as we believe that the near future of road transportation will be determined by several innovations,” Waberer’s tells the BBJ.

As a way of showing commitment to cheaper and more environmentally-friendly propulsion methods, the company has been testing both LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) fueled vehicles.  

“We plan to use these trucks in our fleet from 2019, but of course the filling station infrastructure must be further improved to let this happen. In accordance with sustainable development we are also building partnerships in the field of intermodal transportation and we are preparing routes where we can operate the roll-on roll-off model effectively. As for other freight technologies, we concluded a successful platooning [automated convoys] test last autumn,” Waberer’s says.

The company also focuses on carrying out IT development, aiming to improve both workflow and decision-making processes.

Route Optimization

“Big Data technology is something that provides great support in route optimization and fuel-efficient operation. Waberer’s center can gather a huge amount of on-board data from the 4,400 trucks in our fleet,” the company says. It adds that the introduction of an SAP system last year supports the realization of its financial and management goals.

“Technological innovation and digitalization generally is an increasingly important factor in a freight forwarding company’s operation in providing good and trustworthy service, streamlining business as well as reducing ecological footprint,” Waberer’s says.  

Innovative solutions popping up in the industry are in line with the challenges everybody is facing, such as emissions control, protecting the environment, cope with changing fuel prices, exploring more sustainable new technologies in trucks, and also workforce questions.  

“We at Waberer’s believe that road transportation will remain a stable segment of transportation of goods in the future, but the development of technology will help us to operate this industry much more sustainable than in the past,” the company adds.

While automation and digitization does raise concerns about job losses in Hungary and the CEE markets, in the case of road transportation this tendency would only be felt in the long run. Waberer’s says its employees need not worry.  

“Self-driving vehicles can be the future, but they will not be the vehicle of the near future. This technology still needs to run a great number of tests before it unfolds in practice and, until then, transportation will still need a truck driver’s competence and knowledge, which can’t be replaced by technology itself,” the company adds.

This regular column, run in association with Audi, looks at how some of Hungary’s biggest companies involve innovation in their daily practice.

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