Trucking companies work hard to onboard drivers that meet their experience levels and other required criteria. Likewise, drivers look for companies that offer them certain opportunities. Drivers get into trucking for the freedom of the open road and the ability to control their financial destinies by driving as few or as many miles as they would like. Some of these freedoms have been limited via federal regulations such as HOS (Hours of Service). Other times, demands placed on the driver by shippers, 3PL’s, etc. limit the drivers’ control.
Many drivers perceive freight visibility software, or load tracking, as another way to limit their control and freedom out on the road. Fleet owners, as well, can be skeptical about allowing an outside party to know where their trucks and drivers are. It can be seen as a liability, a safety or even a security issue. But what about the unknown benefits of load visibility? Some of these benefits can often times outweigh the negative perception of being tracked.
Thayne Boren, General Manager for Truckstop.com’s Mobile department had this to say about load visibility:
“Every driver runs into detention issues. More often than not, these issues take up several hours per each load. Sometimes, this issue is during loading, sometimes during unloading, sometimes both. Detention time eats into a driver’s daily allotment of hours which eats into a fleet’s bottom line by keeping them from their next load. Load visibility can help solve this issue.”
By knowing the arrival time at the point of origin or destination of the driver and when the driver leaves the yard, the fleet owner now has hard data to back detention claims. The information obtained via load visibility software can be shared with a broker/shipper and as detention issues become more visible, inefficiencies can be identified easier, the need for more efficient processes will become clearer. As detention issues are solved, drivers will spend less time at the dock and be ready for their next load quicker which will ultimately help to increase the company’s bottom line.
Another benefit of load visibility is the reduction in calls to the driver by the broker and even the company dispatcher, looking for status updates. By clicking a link, a driver’s location and the remaining distance left to travel can be seen. With automated check calls streamlining the information, the need to make a phone call is no longer necessary.
Add to these benefits the ability to upload documents to most load visibility software via a smartphone or tablet and now payment efficiencies can happen as well. Immediate proof of delivery coupled with time of pick up and arrival at destination, allows a driver to be more organized and better equipped for future negotiations with brokers and shippers.
Technology is evolving and advancing in all industries, including the trucking industry. Consumer demands for faster delivery of goods and visibility into their shipments affects the shipper and manufacturer and, in turn, those demands are passed on to the trucks moving their freight. Requests from brokers and shippers to have visibility of their freight is not going to go away. The question becomes “How can you make it work for you?” Being “trackable” makes you more attractive to brokers and shippers and can strengthen your negotiations. At the end of the day, nobody wants to leave money on the table.
By willingly using a software that more brokers are being required to use, fleet owners can leverage their way to better rates and better efficiencies. The more efficient the industry becomes, the more profitable all involved can become.