Mobile Technology Gives Drivers New Opportunities for Growth
Technology has transformed the supply chain over the past two decades. Shippers, large asset-based carriers, brokers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) all now have access to a wide range of tools to streamline day-to-day operations, improve performance and increase profitability. However, even with all of these advancements, there's been one group that's largely been ignored — drivers.
Despite being the lifeblood of the supply chain, drivers have lacked solutions designed to meet their specific needs. As a result, owner operators have continued to be at a disadvantage by not having direct access to large shippers and being forced to work through carriers and brokers and, consequently, lose a percentage of profits in the process. But thanks to recent developments in mobile transportation technology, that's about to change.
With approximately 350,000 registered owner operators in the U.S., it's historically been impractical for large shippers to work with them directly due to the need to manually communicate with and maintain compliance and safety records for each. As a result, drivers and small fleets have either missed out on the opportunity to haul that freight or have had to engage through brokers or other carriers.
However, transportation solutions that manage backend driver data for the shippers are removing this roadblock and opening the door for drivers to work directly with shippers. And by making these solutions available on mobile devices, they can now have direct access to these loads wherever they are using their smartphone. That's critical for a workforce that spends a large amount of time on the road.
In addition to connecting drivers with loads, these solutions can streamline their processes by efficiently maintaining government records, insurance information, safety ratings and more. And being able to manage this from a mobile device aligns with how drivers prefer to work. In fact, according to a recent Sleek Fleet Owner Operator survey, more than 90% of drivers cited mobile devices as their preferred method of accessing the Web.
Giving drivers direct access to large shippers is only the first need for this market. They also want fair and fast compensation for their services.
Drivers have demonstrated a true commitment to their job, with 41% spending at least 200 nights away from home and averaging more than 101,000 miles driven per year*. Most just want a solution that enables them to do their job well and be compensated for their work.
According to the same survey, drivers need a straightforward solution that provides direct access to shippers, transparent pricing, up-to-date load information, and efficient payment processing. It’s what professional drivers want, and what they deserve.
Thanks to advancements in transportation and mobile technology, it's no longer just shippers, brokers, 3PLs and large carriers that have access to the tools they need to be successful. With solutions designed specifically for their needs, drivers will be able to compete on equal footing with the rest of the industry, and won't need to go through large carriers or brokers to have access to large shippers.
* Source: http://www.ooida.com/OOIDA%20Foundation/RecentResearch/OOfacts.asp