The world is going on-demand. We have on-demand apps for films, games, taxis, deliveries and even puppy playdates! So, it’s no surprise that the on-demand philosophy is being applied to the trucking industry.
There are multiple factors at play that are driving the latest technology innovations, including increased demand, supply chain complexity, longer and shorter supply chains, multi-leg shipments, last mile, and the overall trend of urbanization.
Commonly called “smart mobility” or “MaaS” projects, the work aims to improve both the safety and efficiency of transportation, balanced with improved environmental sustainability. This reflects a simple paradigm change in transport to a future where the customer asserts a greater degree of control over their mobility options, all transactions planned, booked and paid for by a single application. Rather than booking transport services through agents and third parties, systems will speak directly to the carrier’s or 3PL’s systems, arranging and initiating transport to the associated requirements.
“On-demand trucking offers a new, more efficient way of matching shippers with carriers. While freight brokers are essential today, the way they do business is woefully inefficient,” says Gaurav Biswas, CEO Trukker. Instead of paying anywhere from a quarter to nearly half of the gross shipping fee to the broker and waiting for them to make hundreds of phone calls, on-demand trucking cuts out the middle-man and boosts efficiency and profits like never before.
“Currently, it takes multiple phone calls and often the use of paper documents to schedule a freight shipment, and a slow and costly process that means most trucks are badly underutilized,” explains Pradeep M, CTO Trukker. On-demand trucking improves speed and provides the ability to find additional shipments that need to be moved in whatever area a driver may be in. This reduces downtime and increases the number of jobs a truck can take, so trucks and fuel can be used to their full potential without needless waste of resources. Even independent truck drivers and small operators can keep their trucks full on a more consistent basis with these on-demand trucking services.
This also improves the speed of the trucking industry with expedited freight service. The world is relying more and more on overnight shipping or same-day shipping. The broker method just isn’t conducive to the “we want it now” mentality that is increasingly more common among the consumer base. By eliminating downtime between putting out an order for shipping and assigning that order to a company and a driver, these drivers-on-demand can get a shipment underway faster and with a lot less paperwork.
Large fleets typically have been the first to benefit from the spread of technology in trucking, but digital freight brokers are working to extend some of the same advantages to smaller carriers and independent drivers.
But on-demand trucking startups like Trukker also provide advantages for independent owner-operators or small trucking fleets with only a few trucks. Not only is the logistical headache of working with a broker no longer an issue (allowing owner-operators and smaller businesses to decrease costs and focus on deliveries), but now those smaller trucking companies can take on more jobs and have more opportunities to grow.
Gaurav elaborates, “The winner in the technology based truck aggregators space will be those who are able to implement technology at the lowest levels of the industry. That kind of industry wide education takes time, persistence and investment but the rewards are truly amazing given the size of the industry and the huge amount of under utilization that can be convert into margins or lower costs.”
Trukker’s custom interfaces also provide a level of transparency between drivers, shippers, and receivers, allows for GPS tracking, which improves the customer service and streamlines the operational process. Shippers get an alert when a driver who has taken their job passes through a geofence, notifying them to get their shipment ready for loading. Clients can also see GPS location information as a truck approaches its destination, so they have a more accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA).
At this point, it’s fairly clear that on-demand trucking will significantly impact the future of the trucking industry. It is revolutionizing how drivers and cargos are matched. Without the mountains of paperwork and spades of downtime, who knows what this multibillion-dollar industry could do.
The combinative power of truly connected supply chains, machine-to-machine communication, machine learning, and predictive analytics will create new levels of supply chain control, visibility, and responsiveness.
These digital freight networks still are relatively new to the industry, but they have attracted significant support from investors.
Get ready for smart logistics.