Technology has significantly impacted the shipping industry, but rather than replacing people with computers, XPO Logistics is expanding its crew, an XPO spokesperson said.
“Technology is huge in the trucking industry,” said Tim Brocious, an XPO Service Center manager for the Bedford facility. “We have sophisticated on-board systems on the trucks that help break the trucks and shift the trucks.”
Despite speculation in the national forum about self-driving vehicles potentially replacing truck drivers in the near future, Brocious said people are an integral to XPO’s daily operations.
“On the pickup and delivery side of what we do, it would be very hard for a computer to do,” he explained. “I think there is a real possibility in the future that computers could guide the trucks down the highway with a human monitoring them, but as far as dealing with local traffic and navigating delivery sites, I think we will need people for that for the foreseeable future.”
Originally owned by Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload service center moved to Bedford County several years before being acquired by XPO in 2016.
“We moved from the Johnstown area in 2008, and before that, we were just a small one or two driver operation,” Brocious said. “At the Bedford center, we have 30 drivers now in addition to dock workers, customer service reps and supervisors.”
With more than 300 terminals across the U.S., XPO employs about 100,000 people around the globe and operates in 30 countries.
In recent years, the company has moved toward a paperless tracking system, Brocious said.
“When I first started here about eight years ago, we did everything by paper and pen, and now we don’t hardly do anything with paper and pen,” he said. “We have hand-held technology that tells us where to load the freight, where the freight is headed and when it arrives.”
XPO serves a network of businesses throughout the county, and Brocious said access to the interstate and highway systems could ensure the company’s presence for years to come.
“We’ve grown leaps and bounds since our Con-way days,” he said. “We’re here to stay.”