Logistics software can be a useful tool in the agricultural industry, as the need to transport livestock animals to and from various points in the production process requires the availability of fast and efficient fleet operations.
Food production in the U.S. has become increasingly more industrialized in recent years.Mother Jones magazine cited data from a report published by the market research firm Packaged Facts that found meat consumption rates have actually declined among a majority of American households. However, producers continue to ramp up their operations in rural areas throughout the country. The magazine said even though domestic purchases for meat products are down, large agricultural corporations are now focusing more on supplying goods to international markets. As a result, the U.S. has developed a reputation as a global supplier of factory-produced meat.
Trucking contributes to energy-intensive production process
Livestock management is a complicated process that requires a substantial amount of resources. According to the news publication Guardian Liberty Voice, meat production specifically is responsible for a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. While a majority of this pollution comes from the sheer number of resources required to feed and manage livestock on a daily basis, trucking activity also contributes heavily to the industry's overall carbon footprint. Farmers not only have to ship new animals in every year, but they must also frequently distribute them to other points in the supply chain. Moving cattle, pigs, chickens and other animals long distances requires heavy-duty vehicles that ensure livestock safety. Advanced technology such as route optimization software can be instrumental in helping fleet owners limit the amount of fuel used during these shipments.
Transporting live freight outside of the food industry
Aside from actual food production, many organizations around the country are also responsible for moving live animals across long distances for various reasons. For instance, an article in The Denver Post reported that the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (RMNWR) just north of Denver recently had to make the decision to sharply reduce the number of bison on its vast property to avoid the risk of overgrazing. The organization currently owns a herd of 87 bison, but it is currently looking to sell 27 of the animals to interested buyers. According to the newspaper, the RMNWR will ship three to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa and two others to the Sullys Hill National Game Preserve in North Dakota.
Bison are in relatively high demand in rural areas across the country. The Herald-News, a daily newspaper serving suburban Chicago, said the U.S. Forest Service has indicated it will likely introduce as many as 40 bison into the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Ill., within the next two years. Because these animals graze on grass, their presence would help expedite the active restoration process happening on the property. The Forest Service also suggested bison will play an important role in reviving economic activity along the historic U.S. Route 66, as it the animals may lead to an increase in tourism.
"They are our grassland managers," Wade Spang, a prairie supervisor at Midewin, told the newspaper. "Without them, we wouldn't be able to bring back the prairie and provide a habitat for our birds."
Organizations around the U.S. will depend on reliable fleets of heavy-duty vehicles to transport bison and other livestock long distances with as low of an overhead cost as possible. Advanced trucking software can make it easier for manages of these trucks to not only organize assignments and identify the most efficient routes, but it will also streamline the billing process for customers.