Fuel efficiency and a changing automotive supply chain :

February 25, 2021

This fireside chat recap is from Day 4 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 4 focuses on the automotive supply chain.

Watch the full Fireside Chat here

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How fuel efficiency will change trucking and supply chains

DETAILS: FreightWaves Executive Publisher Kevin Hill and Daniel Burrows look at fuel efficiency in trucking, changes in the automotive supply chain in a post-COVID world and the need for in-person collaboration to properly construct supply chains.

SPEAKER: Burrows is the founder and CEO of TruckLabs.

BIO: Burrows launched TruckLabs, a trucking tech company that utilizes a team of hardware engineers, software developers and data scientists to innovate products and design software to help fleets be more efficient and profitable, in 2015. Prior to that, Burrows was active in venture capital and worked as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman. He has a background in physics and extensive experience designing and building out workflow systems for numerous startup companies.


On the importance of aerodynamics in fuel efficiency: “Once that big 80,000-pound rig is going, it wants to keep going. The only thing that’s really slowing it down is the air. It’s really a game about air resistance. Air resistance is pretty significant when you’re 65, 70 miles an hour out there. Two-thirds of your fuel is spent overcoming that drag.”

On the need for coordination of international trade policies especially in times of crisis: “Regulators and governments on both sides and health officials realized that we needed to coordinate across the border because these borders are artificial lines in the sand. But then when you’ve got a production facility group that expands them, you do a lot of damage to international trade by having selective policies.”

On challenges facing OEM supply chains: “Trying to forecast where the world is going to be in three months, where the vaccine rollout is going to be, what that’s going to do to demand in all sorts of industries, it just becomes a guessing game. That is hard when you’re talking about building a supply chain with fixed costs, infrastructure and partnerships. If you’re modeling what happened in the future, you look at the past, and we just haven’t had anything like this in the past to model off.”

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