The challenges the logistics industry faces in the United States — including driver shortages, supply chain issues, and safety and compliance — are global issues as well.
“Trucking is a fundamental part of global logistics and distribution and the global supply chain — even more these days than 20 years ago with the explosion of online shopping and last-mile delivery,” said Jon Routledge, vice president and general manager of consumer services at Bestpass. “Vehicles form a large part of our day-to-day now more than any other time in history. Even during the pandemic, the trucking industry kept things moving with vital supplies like food and consumables. But this isn’t specific to the U.S.”
While trucking has not traditionally been seen as a leading industry for innovation, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the industry to pivot and embrace more technology solutions to combat a range of challenges in the wake of the pandemic.
“The pandemic has required a lot of companies to take a step back and really think about how they operate,” Routledge said. “With everyone now remote and strategizing in person no longer an option, it forced everyone to find a way to move information more efficiently. The pandemic is not a good thing, but it has pushed the industry toward a more innovative approach and allowed us to continue to grow in a healthy way.”
With more than 25 years of experience in the trucking and transportation industry, Routledge became involved with tolling and technology in early 2016, which eventually led to his position at Bestpass.
Founded in 2001, Bestpass provides customers with a payment platform that focuses on toll management for commercial fleets of all shapes and sizes. Bestpass delivers industry expertise, ensures data accuracy and consolidates payments for more than 20,000 customers.
“We have primarily focused on tolling, but our ethos is simplification,” Routledge said. “We take complex scenarios and we simplify them. If you are a fleet operator of any size and you’re servicing the U.S., you will encounter tolls and this can be complex.”
Routledge added that Bestpass helps fleets of any size take complex tolling data and combine it into one account, under one payment, with one point of contact to ensure convenience and clarity for its customers.
A key component of toll management is processing toll violations and citations – another global challenge across the transportation industry. The Bestpass team responded to trucking companies’ need for citation management by creating a citation management system similar to that of the Bestpass toll management system.
“If you received a citation, you upload it to our portal [like you would in the toll process] and from there we take care of the rest,” Routledge said. “We pay it, we put it on your monthly statement, we provide reporting capabilities and visibility regarding the status of the citation. Then monthly, in the same format as the toll statement, you get a summary of the citations that were submitted to us.”
This process not only simplifies the citation process for trucking companies but also gives them access to data regarding the types of citations that are recurring as well as the drivers who are receiving them, allowing companies to home in and enhance their driver safety protocols and improve the safety of specific drivers.
“We are able to turn these unfortunate citations into data in order to inform our fleet operators and our customers and for them to make improved decisions and improve driver performance,” Routledge added.
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