Held in Darwin, the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) annual industry gathering put the focus on the disruptive potential of future technologies and re-emphasised the need for industry to develop new strategies to manage change.
“Change is the new constant,” ATA CEO, Ben Maguire, told the audience in opening the highly anticipated event. “We are facing a time of change as an industry, but we need to remind ourselves that challenges also present new opportunities for growth as we embrace them.”
ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch, thus called upon industry to develop a ‘sense of urgency’ to ensure it won’t be left behind as business models and technologies evolve.
“Road transport is not immune to technological change,” he warned. “As an industry, we need to get ready for future challenges, and we need to get ready now.
“It’s not a question of if autonomous trucks arrive, but when. We can’t stick our heads in the sand like the taxi industry did when Uber came along.”
Crouch put the onus of leading the discussion back on the ATA, saying the Association had to “pivot even more towards understanding the megatrends facing the industry” and provide more guidance on how to navigate them.
Prime Mover columnist and head of Ferrier Hodgson’s logistics practice, Brendan Richards, underscored the urgency of developing new change management strategies, saying the ongoing growth of the nation’s freight task will be “skewed towards new technology” – especially with global e-commerce giant, Amazon, now breaking into the local market.