Technology Built to Improve the Profitability of Independent Truckers
By Sleek Fleet on November 16th, 2017
Technology and Transportation
Technology now plays a major role in the transportation and logistics space, and its influence continues to expand. After initially being heavily weighted in favor of helping shippers optimize their supply chain networks, technology is finally starting to address the needs of truck drivers.
Yet, most of today's 'technologies' represent incremental enhancements to long-standing tools like load boards and routing guides. Sleek Fleet's technology is different — its solution provides independent truckers seamless access to freight bypassing the high cost of the middleman.
Drivers Spoke and We Listened
At Sleek Fleet's inception, we recognized that our success with owner operators depends on addressing the long-standing challenge of direct access to large shippers. With this in mind, we conducted a comprehensive survey of 223 owner operators to gain deeper insight into current methods of utilizing technology and acquiring loads. Several themes emerged:
- Simple is Better — Any mobile technology needs to be easy-to-adopt and focused on core challenges. Solutions with bells and whistles such as route-planning and optimization tools add needless complexity.
- Security is Paramount — Drivers cited the importance of online security and keeping their information private as their foremost concern.
- Focus on Direct Access to Freight — Improving the load-acquisition process and securing greater rate transparency are prerequisites for enhancing the earning potential of drivers.
- Eliminate the Middleman — 90% of the survey participants expressed interest in working directly with shippers to book loads. At present, only 13% of respondents listed this as a current load source.
- Streamline the Process — 83% of drivers cited expedited payments and relief from detention issues as important considerations.
Combining Innovation with Expertise
The drivers have spoken, and we listened. It was important for us to develop an effective and efficient way to connect shippers and drivers built with drivers' functionality preferences in mind. In this transparent load-acquisition process, drivers can see who the shipper is, what kind of loads are available, the origin/destination pairing, and the time of pick-up/delivery. The driver is awarded (or declined) the load immediately when they submit their bid and gets paid the exact bid amount within four hours of submission of the proper paperwork.
Because we securely manage all driver records, conduct necessary background checks and provide full EDI compliance, shippers have the peace of mind of knowing that they are working with professional owner operators who will get paid immediately upon load delivery.
This type of solution was not offered in the past because the technology was simply not yet available. Now that 90% of the O/O's have direct web access via a mobile device1, we view it as a matter of putting all the pieces together — combining an easy-to-use mobile app with a thorough understanding of the transportation industry. Our strength in combining those two disciplines is what will provide us an edge in offering an efficient solution that meets the needs of both drivers and shippers.
1 Richfield Capital Management, LLC Survey, April 2016