In an Amazon-driven ecommerce world, it's hard to fathom just how time-consuming it can be for retailers like Lay-Z-Boy to ship their inventory across the country.

Even though one-click ordering and GPS tracking are commonplace for consumers, the trucking and logistics industry that brings merchandise from around the world to store shelves relies largely on phone calls, personal relationships and Excel.

A slew of tech-fueled companies from NEXT Trucking to ZUUM are trying to modernize the $1.2 trillion transportation industry, made up largely of small fleets that serve manufacturers to large multinational enterprises.

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Venture-backed NEXT Trucking has laid off nearly 20 percent of its workforce as trade tensions have put pressure on the Southern California ports where it is concentrated.

The company had been on a fast track for growth as it sought to bring a sleek tech-sensibility to the grimier port logistics industry. Layoffs of 65 of its 300 workers will take effect on March 17, according to a document filed with state's Employment Development Department.

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