TruckPark and dexFreight are combining forces to develop a monthly podcast focused on drivers. The collaboration will also see the addition of TruckPark’s truck parking reservation services on dexFreight’s platform for carriers, brokers and shippers. dexFreight also plans to incorporate parking availability in its machine learning-based trip planning and load selection algorithms for carriers.
Anthony Petitte, chief executive officer and co-founder of TruckPark, told FreightWaves the podcast is tentatively called Driver Heroes. He hopes the first podcast will air in the next few weeks.
“We will actually talk to truck drivers themselves,” Petitte said, noting the difference between their podcast and those that just talk about subjects that matter to drivers without speaking to them.. He added that drivers will be able to tell their fellow drivers where parking is available, tips they may have on how to find safe parking, and other helpful information for managing life on the road.
The podcast is in partnership with dexFreight, which offers a decentralized platform for freight brokers, shippers and carriers to handle shipments from booking to payment in one place.
“I think it was more a collaborative interest,” Petitte said of doing a podcast. “We’re both tech companies and we’re both doing great things for the industry.”
He noted that TruckPark officials have spent a lot of time walking truck stop parking lots talking to drivers as part of a guerilla marketing approach, but COVID-19 and social distancing have altered that strategy and he believes a podcast is a great way to stay connected.
The TruckPark parking service allows drivers, or in some cases, carriers, brokers or shippers, to reserve a parking space for the evening through the TruckPark app or website. Integrations with technology providers such as dexFreight open up the reservation service to more drivers.
“Truck drivers are heroes, keeping the economy running and delivering essential supplies during the continuing COVID pandemic,” Petitte said. “We are working to help address one of their major pain points. Nearly 90% of truck drivers frequently experience problems finding safe parking at night. As drivers increasingly turn to reservation systems, we’re working to open up tens of thousands of additional spaces at truck stops and independent parking facilities. Partnering with dexFreight adds value for users of our service and will help drive our continued success in solving this problem for drivers.”
TruckPark currently has more than 4,000 spaces in its system concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast. Expansion across the country continues, the company said.
“In collaboration with TruckPark, we are adding parking services into our blockchain-based logistics platform to bring truck route optimization to carriers,” said Jim Handoush, president and CEO of dexFreight. “This partnership is great for everyone in the logistic supply chain, including carriers and now parking lot owners, too.”
Handoush told FreightWaves the information collected from the TruckPark system has benefits throughout the supply chain.
“Drivers in dexFreight can book parking spots directly from our mobile app,” Handoush said. “Once we get a confirmation that the driver has booked a spot, then the information will be added to their current HOS [hours-of-service] status and the data is fed into our load selection algorithm to provide them with pertinent backhaul loads based on the hours-of-service clock.”
Handoush said that while the service within the dexFreight platform will only be available to drivers, tying the data to available driving hours will improve the bid selection process for brokers and shippers.
“This reduces time brokers and shippers spend in the onboarding of carriers and owner-operators,” he said.
Also, as drivers can see and reserve parking along their route, this can improve their load selection as they will know what routes have safe parking available to them.
In April, TruckPark announced its service would be available through the Trucker Tools app and it added thousands of spaces to its network in 2019 through partnerships with several parking lot owners, including a deal with Storemytruck.com that promises to add more than 100 parking lots over the next two years. In response to COVID-19, telemedicine options were added within TruckPark’s services page in the app. The program, with GenieMD, offers truck drivers access to medical professionals who can write prescriptions as needed.