Mike Riccio, Chief Marketing Officer, Leonard’s Express
Prasad Gollapalli, Founder and CEO, Trucker Tools
As 2019 comes to a close one development stands out – it has been a year of remarkable, disruptive and transformative change for technology in transportation.
At the heart has been the rise of digital platforms, and their promise for remaking – some would say disintermediating – the traditional freight brokerage market. Leading the charge is the ever-present challenge of visibility – between drivers, their trucks, loads, brokers and shippers – and the myriad of new tech firms, as well as traditional providers, that are battling it out for the best solution.
Defining the ideal visibility solution, and the best choice for the user (whether it’s broker, trucker or shipper) remains a complex and evolving challenge. What are the choices? Who owns the data? What app is best for me as a professional truck driver? How do I as a broker convince carriers to get on board with the right app that gives me reliable, consistent, timely status? What does it cost?
Visibility providers use many methods to collect the core data that powers their solutions. Some pull from in-cab Electronic Logging Devices, some from trailer-mounted sensors, some from smart-phone, GPS-based apps, some via EDI or API links. Until recently, some were using location signals triangulated from cellphone towers. And some still cling to the old way – pick up the phone and call the driver.
Ultimately, that driver and his or her smartphone are the most accurate and reliable provider of visibility. Where digital platforms (and brokers) fail is forcing drivers into technology that’s inconvenient, irrelevant, does only one thing or makes life harder for them.
Because no matter the technology, a successful visibility solution starts and ends with the truck driver. First and foremost, any visibility app must be built for ease of use and improve the driver experience. The workflow must be intuitive, mobile-friendly, and convenient. And it should provide the driver with features beyond just tracking – part of an “all in one” app that helps the driver be more efficient, solves problems and makes the driver’s life less stress-filled.
How can brokers and carriers work together to make informed decisions about technology that give both a clear advantage in the visibility race? This episode of Talking Logistics will provide insights into a broker and their technology partner and how they solved the visibility challenge, improved carrier participation, and compliance, and built a happier and better performing carrier network in the process.