With previous experience working for shipper, carrier and broker companies, industry influencer Craig Bliss has a unique perspective on the ins and outs of today’s freight market. Trucker Tools recently interviewed Craig about the current state of the industry and asked him how owner-operators and small trucking companies can meet the challenges of today’s competitive market. Here, we’ve gathered Craig’s advice on how to position your business for success, despite the ever-evolving, ever-shifting nature of the transportation landscape.
If you’re an owner-operator or the owner of a small trucking company, it’s helpful to have a sounding board for ideas or questions that you may have about starting up or changing how you run your trucking business. As a small business owner, you may not know where to turn to find out how your competitors and colleagues are handling challenges such as making your business more efficient, finding high-quality loads or responding to digital load tracking requests.
There are several online trucking communities that can serve as valuable resources for you as you grow and evolve your trucking business. We recommend Craig’s Freight Brokers & Truck Drivers Facebook group if you’re looking for information on best practices for your business or if you’re in search of freight for your truck(s). The beauty of online trucking communities is that many members of these groups have been working in the trucking industry for years. They can provide invaluable insight into historical fluctuations in the market and how best practices are evolving.
When we interviewed Craig, he admitted that he understands why carriers often are reluctant to use load tracking technology. Many of the digital freight tracking apps in use today only do one thing: they track freight. These single-function apps typically can only be used with one broker and it’s often not clear when tracking starts and stops. As a carrier, there is a little incentive for you to use these single-function tracking only apps in your daily operations.
Instead of just focusing on load tracking, we’ve designed the Trucker Tools driver app to include 17 powerful tools and features that are designed to simplify your life on the road as a trucker. The driver app provides you with information on fuel prices, optimal routes, Walmart locations, traffic, weather, weigh scales, truck stops, available loads with preferred brokers and more. Our driver app also includes an automated load tracking feature that can integrate with your broker’s transportation management system. You can use the driver app’s load tracking tool with multiple brokers, which reduces the time you spend installing, learning to use and then uninstalling a new app every time you accept a new load.
At Trucker Tools, we respect the privacy of truckers and think it’s absolutely reasonable to expect load tracking apps to tell you when tracking starts and stops. That’s why when you use the load tracking tool included with our driver app, you receive a notification on your smartphone any time that your location info is shared. The notification includes information on the associated load and who the information is being shared with. If you don’t recognize the broker/3PL’s name, you can pause or cancel load tracking directly in the app.
When we asked Craig about how truckers can thrive in the current market that seems to favor shippers and brokers, he said that trucking companies that are able to adapt and change as the industry evolves will continue to be successful, regardless of year-to-year rate fluctuations. He advised owner-operators and small trucking companies to mimic what the mega carriers are doing: be thoughtful and creative when choosing and introducing new technology and try to roll with changes, even if it sometimes pushes you outside your comfort zone.
Implementing well-designed technology-based tools like Trucker Tools’ driver app and Smart Capacity platform ultimately can help you better manage your operations, make more money and build relationships with preferred brokers, shippers, and 3PLs. Instead of wasting time on check-calls that hurt your efficiency, you can use Trucker Tools’ visibility solution to automate load tracking for your partners and have more time for booking more loads.
You also can use Trucker Tool’s driver app to identify preferred partners and search for and book their loads directly in the Trucker Tools app with a few taps on your smartphone. Embracing technology like Trucker Tools’ driver app, which is made to improve the profitability of your business, can be the difference-maker in helping you evolve your business practices and outperform your competitors. Want to learn even more about how Trucker Tools can increase revenue for your trucking business? Read our blog Tips on Using Trucker Tools’ Driver App To Make Your Owner-Operator or Small Trucking Business More Profitable. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit the Trucker Tools mobile page.