Get wired-and fast. That was the message from Jim Carroll, one of Canada’s highest profile internet technology gurus, as he gave the keynote speech at the Ontario Trucking Association’s 74th annual convention.
Speaking to hundreds of OTA members at the Regal Constellation Hotel in Toronto this morning, Carroll said that 45% of all business will be conducted via the Internet within the next five years. Although he understood some of the concerns those in the trucking industry have about venturing into uncharted technical territories, he stressed the importance of rapidly growing e-business in the new global economy. Because the transportation industry especially helps fuel the overall economy, Carroll explained how fleets must be willing to experiment and at least test out new technologies if they hope to map out their place in the industry’s future.
“You have to be brave and willing to risk some failure,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there that want to eat your lunch. You have to be prepared, because the competition out there is stunning.
“Ford, GM and Chrysler, for example, have all told their suppliers that if they want to do business in the future, they’ll have to do it through the Internet…it’s only a matter of time before they come to you and say the same thing,” he told the crowd.
Before Carroll’s presentation members heard from John Weir, principal secretary to Ontario premier Mike Harris, and Oshawa, Ont. mayor Nancy Diamond.
Diamond spoke of how the transportation industry is the reason why Oshawa has been recently been identified as having the second fastest economic growth, behind only Vancouver, and more importantly, the number one exporting community in the country.
As a member of the Mayor’s Alliance for Super Highways, she stressed the importance for improved border crossings, especially the bottleneck drivers face everyday in Windsor, Ont.
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