Self drive vehicles supercharge pallet delivery services

Self drive vehicles supercharge pallet delivery services

Many people seem to be unaware of the massive changes that will be coming to our lives shortly. Self driving cars and lorries or trucks will have a huge impact on all our lives in general, but the one question I'm beginning to get asked more frequently is "Do you think self drive vehicles will eventually impact on pallet delivery services?"


Technology is advancing so rapidly we already have cars that can park themselves. Not just expensive cars either but even smaller cars like Ford’s new Fiesta and KA come with a self park option. It won’t be long before self driving vehicles become mainstream.


There have already been several trials of self driving lorries. There will be some tests this summer on a road train on the M6 motorway. The lead truck will have a driver but the 4 lorries behind will be coupled electronically to the lead vehicle.


Speedshift is currently evaluating how this technology to ascertain what benefits it will have for our pallet delivery service and subsequently our customers. The first lorries that will be replaced will be the night trunkers. These articulated vehicles carry 52 pallets on double decker trailers and travel up to the pallet hubs from each depot. A computer controlled pallet delivery truck will leave the depot each night and take the pallets to the main hub. This will make trunking pallets on a national scale quicker and cheaper.


Long distance trucks will also be some of the first to become computer controlled. A lorry driving to Greece for example will get there quicker as there will be no more rest breaks recorded on the driver’s tachographs. The journey to Greece will be slashed from 7 days to 5 which is a considerable difference.


It is unlikely that the local delivery services will be replaced as they need a driver to operate the pallet truck and the tail lift. How else would your pallet get off the lorry onto your driveway?


Self driving vehicles are coming along at a perfect time for the pallet delivery services market as there is a huge shortage of drivers and young people aren’t coming along to replace older drivers as they retire.


In other sectors however computer controlled cars may cause major unemployment problems. Think how many people are employed as bus and taxi drivers. Once self driving cars take over you will just call up your ride when you need it using UBER or similar apps.


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