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Survey: Owner-operators desire more direct access to shippers

Sept. 21, 2017
New poll by mobile web provider also finds that online security is the “paramount concern” of independents when it comes to adopting web-enabled technology.

A new survey  of 223 owner-operators by mobile web provider Sleek Fleet LLC found that a majority have mobile access to the Internet, want more “direct access” to freight being tendered by shippers, and desire relief from dock detention.

“The survey confirmed what we’re hearing in the market,” noted Tony Sanchez, Sleek Fleet’s client relations manager, in a statement.

“Drivers are eager to adopt technology, but it needs to be easy to use and improve their earning potential,” he added. “We are hearing loud and clear from drivers that they’re anxious for a straightforward solution to direct access and fair pay.”

Some of the highlights from the survey include:

  • Owner-operators are embracing mobile technology – Over 87% of the drivers polled have mobile access to the internet.
  • Yet online security is paramount – A majority of those surveyed said the need for online security and keeping their information private is the “paramount concern” when adopting web-based technologies.
  • Simple is better — Any mobile technology that is offered to drivers needs to be easy-to-adopt and focused on the “core challenge” of finding freight. Solutions with bells and whistles such as route-planning and optimization tools add needless complexity.
  • Enhance earning potential – Improving the load-acquisition process and securing greater rate transparency are prerequisites for enhancing the earning potential of drivers.
  • Focus on direct access to freight – 91% of respondents expressed interest in working directly with shippers to book loads. However, only 13% of respondents listed this as a current load source.
  • Streamline the freight-hauling process — About 83% of the drivers polled cited expedited payments and relief from detention issues as important considerations.

"Any [mobile] platform that delivers a fair rate for work performed and payment within a matter of hours would be a huge benefit to my bottom line,” noted Jason Costa, president of Miles Decosta LLC and one of the survey participants. “The ability to access loads directly from shippers without interference from brokers would be a game-changer for my business.”

Sleek Fleet added that insights gleaned from this survey were used in the development of its web- and mobile-enabled freight marketplace solution, which launched back in July.

About the Author

American Trucker staff

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