The trucking industry currently is at a critical juncture. Trucking is being reshaped, as we speak, influenced by emerging digital freight start-ups and the entrance of corporations like Uber Freight and Amazon into the market. New technology, a global economy and an increase in the number of small trucking companies also are changing how all of us in the trucking industry do business.
In response to these changes, some technology vendors in the trucking industry want to fundamentally alter how the supply chain functions. Some vendors are creating solutions that are designed to eliminate brokers and logistics companies from the supply chain altogether. Other technology vendors are creating solutions that don’t include active participation from truckers and carriers.
At Trucker Tools, our approach is different. We believe that technology can be leveraged to strengthen every segment of the supply chain, from owner-operators and small to mid-sized trucking companies to brokers, 3PLs and shippers. In our view, everyone has a role to play in the supply chain. Our job as a technology solutions provider is to equip each segment of the supply chain with the tools needed to operate efficiently, increase revenue, build productive partner relationships and provide top-notch customer service.
Carriers are essential to the supply chain. They are the engine that makes the trucking industry run. Despite their importance in the supply chain, carriers’ needs are often ignored by technology vendors or given only secondary consideration. Even though they haul an estimated 80 percent of all freight in the United States, owner-operators and small carriers are virtually ignored by some technology vendors. That’s a crucial mistake.
The Trucker Tools team believes that success starts and ends with carriers, particularly owner-operators and small to mid-sized trucking companies. For that reason, we’ve designed a free driver app that is made to serve the needs of owner-operators and small carriers. With the Trucker Tools driver app, a trucker has access to 17+ highly sought-after tools and features that provide information on truck stops, fuel prices, optimal routes, weigh scales, available loads, weather, traffic, DOT locations, nearby medical facilities and more.
Truckers also can search for high-quality loads directly in the Trucker Tools driver app. Carriers can search for loads based on location, favorite brokers/3PLs, lane preferences and truck/trailer type. All of the details on the load are included in the load listing in the app, from the rate and pick-up and delivery locations to broker name, associated deadhead miles from current location, weight, stops and size. The loads listed in the Trucker Tools driver app are always live loads — they’re never will-call or can-get loads.
With Book-It-Now loads, truckers can book loads in a matter of seconds directly in the Trucker Tools driver app. Once the load is booked in our driver app, the load booking is automatically sent to the broker/3PL and automatically recorded in the broker/3PL’s transportation management. Truckers automatically receive a confirmation email that includes all the load details and suggestions for future loads that help truckers find and secure the next load or reload before finishing with the current load — which is a major efficiency win, particularly for owner-operators and small to mid-sized trucking businesses.
We believe that freight brokers and logistics providers have an essential role to play in the supply chain, as well. As facilitators between carriers and shippers, brokers and logistics providers help drive the supply chain and its overarching efficiency. Instead of cutting brokers and 3PLs out of the supply chain, Trucker Tools’ goal is to provide technology-based solutions that increase efficiency, revenue and recurring business for brokers and 3PLs.
Trucker Tools’ visibility solution uses the GPS technology native to the trucker’s smartphone to provide automated, accurate load tracking that even can integrate with shippers’ preferred visibility platforms, such as MacroPoint or Project44. Brokers and 3PLs can view real-time truck locations in Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity or directly in their transportation management systems. Access to real-time load tracking empowers brokers/3PLs to stay ahead of service issues and proactively address delays as they occur.
Trucker Tools has created a common platform for 3PLs and brokers that automate capacity searches and load booking. With our digital freight matching platform’s predictive load matching, brokers and 3PLs can reduce the time spent looking for high-quality capacity. The predictive load matching tool included in Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform uses machine learning to provide capacity suggestions to brokers/3PLs based on previous transactions and history. Brokers/3PLs also can list specific loads for specific carriers as Book-It-Now loads. When loads are listed as Book-It-Now loads, carriers have the ability to book the load directly through the Trucker Tools driver app.
The immediacy of accurate, real-time data and automated communications between brokers, 3PLs and carriers increase the speed with which shippers and consumers receive information about their shipments. If, for example, a truck breaks down in transit, the broker/3PL knows immediately thanks to the real-time tracking data received via Trucker Tools’ visibility platform. The shipper can automatically be notified about the delay via the integration between the shipper’s preferred visibility platform and Trucker Tools’ visibility platform. As a result, the shipper can shift its dock scheduling to accommodate the new ETA and be ready for the truck when it does arrive. Consumers can be updated on the new ETA, as well, and can receive real-time updates.
During busy seasons, shippers may need additional capacity. Trucker Tools’ digital load matching platform can answer that need, as well. Brokers and 3PLs can search for and add high-quality capacity with preferred carrier partners with a few clicks of a mouse. Logistics providers and brokers also can draw capacity from Trucker Tools’ 800,000-strong carrier network when they need to scale up capacity offerings for their shippers. That ability to increase truck capacity as needed allows shippers to run their operations more efficiently and serve consumers better.
To learn more about how Trucker Tools provides wins for every segment of the supply chain, read Real-Time Visibility: Providing Value Across the Supply Chain. If you’re a trucker and you’d like to download the free Trucker Tools driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/. If you’re a broker/3PL and want to find out how Trucker Tools can help your business, schedule a free Trucker Tools demo.