Trucking & Cell Signal Infrastructure in the Rural U.S.

Mobile Communication is Critical for the US Supply Chain

It may or may not be common knowledge, but parts of the United States’ countryside are in great need of better cell coverage & technology options.  The reasons are vast, but there’s even more at stake than the quality of life and communications for rural residents.  While that should already be enough to get on board with infrastructural updating, I’m going to offer another reason:  Trucking.

It’s easy to take trucking for granted, but supply chains impact everyone.  We trust that we can find the products we seek at the retailers that sell them.  The reality is that transportation logistics is a complicated, detailed world, and there’s no doubt that technology brings new efficiencies to that world every day.  Technology aims to streamline logistical processes:  scheduling & planning, load tendering, shipment tracking, facility/dock management, and many other aspects.  Trucks move through some of the most disconnected regions of this country, and often enough, shipping and receiving facilities are found in these areas as well.  

The Impact of Unreliable Communication

Trucks and manufacturers count on technology to keep everything connected and running smoothly.  Information and speed are required to efficiently move products.  The greater the demand for products, the greater the need for fast & accurate data.  Data flow is compromised in “dead zones”.  This often puts the burden on drivers, using devices with low-or-no signal, to report mechanical problems, work around delays, receive appointment & dock updates, and book their next loads.  One driver, frustratingly having to fight against a spotty signal, can prevent entire shipments from reaching their destination in what should (and could!) be a consistent and predictable process.  Delays in manufacturing and product availability could decrease if all involved systems were adequately represented on the information superhighway.

It’s enough to know that infrastructural improvements, above and beyond just better roads and bridges, are sorely needed for rural residents.  Universal enhancements in technology infrastructure in less-connected areas would benefit everyone.  Keep the needs of trucks and transportation technology in mind next time you grab a favorite product from the store.  


This blog was written by Caitlin Radick.  Caitlin is a Carrier Success Leader & Product Expert at Sleek Technologies, and has extensive knowledge of trucking, logistics, and the North American supply chain.