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Shoddy freight visibility is no longer an option

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Rapid technological innovation in recent years has led to a constantly evolving transportation and logistics industry. Freight visibility is no longer considered a premium benefit the best brokers offer their shippers. It is simply an expectation that most brokers struggle to meet.

Third-party logistics provider (3PL) Choptank Transport made it a top priority to provide its shippers with accurate, reliable tracking. The company partnered with Trucker Tools to accomplish this goal.

“The location accuracy of Choptank’s freight tracking has increased since migrating to Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity and its smart-phone based driver app,” according to a recent Trucker Tools case study. “The tracking success rate for its previous system was, at best, 40 percent. The tracking success rate from start to finish for loads tracked through Smart Capacity and the integrated driver app currently is more than 97 percent, which represents a significant increase for Choptank.”

Since Choptank partnered with Trucker Tools, carrier adoption has jumped from about 20 percent to 85 percent, according to the case study. The 3PL hopes to hit 100 percent adoption by the fourth quarter of this year.

“Our carrier procurement folks have adopted a hard stance that we can’t accept you as a carrier if you won’t accept some level of tracking,” Choptank President and CEO Geoff Turner said. “When we approached the carriers, our pitch to them was that the Trucker Tools app has a lot of value. It has Walmart locations; it has the fuel stations. It has a lot of tools for the driver, even if you never use the tracking.”

It was that driver-centric approach that drew Choptank to Trucker Tools in the first place, according to Turner. Not only does the app provide drivers with a host of useful resources, the Trucker Tools team is willing to listen and respond to driver complaints about the app.

“A lot of time, the folks on the ground every day know a better way to do it,” Turner said. “The ability to listen to that is important.”

Trucker Tools CEO Prasad Gollapalli said tuning into driver concerns has always been a top priority for the company.

“We are not just a tracking app. We are an app that helps the driver with a lot of things on the road. There is a lot of trust built between us and the drivers,” Gollapalli said. “Drivers get frustrated when they have to download apps from individual brokers, then another app for fuel prices and another app for tracking. By rolling all this into one app, we’re eliminating app overload for the drivers.”

Gollapalli said Trucker Tools actively seeks feedback from drivers and carriers, then uses that feedback to better solve the problems they encounter on the road. One of those problems is detention.

“We took one of the biggest issues that drivers have, which is detention, and one of the biggest hesitations that drivers have, which is providing visibility, and combined them,” he said. “Tracking actually help the drivers reduce their detention. They are less resistant to providing visibility when they realize we can help solve one of their biggest problems.”

Trucker Tools is also dedicated to providing drivers with the highest level of transparency in an effort to provide more trust between drivers and the tracking portion of the app.

“We are really transparent with the driver about when they are being tracked by which broker. When it is over, we show them that we are not sharing their location with the broker anymore because they have delivered,” Gollapalli said. “That level of transparency is the key for high compliance.”

The level of care Trucker Tools put into building relationships with the carriers and drivers using its app has led to Choptank’s improved visibility compliance, according to Gollapalli. The improved and automatic compliance has made the lives of both brokers and drivers easier.

“It has helped with customer retention. It is the best thing for the industry, and it is the best thing for the carriers too,” Turner said. “We were calling these guys at all times of the night, getting updates on where they are, so it has helped change their lifestyle too. I’m a big fan of anything we can do to help the carriers be more productive and more safe on the road.”

Click here to read Trucker Tools’ latest case study.

Ashley Coker Prince

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She works with clients to develop sponsored content that tells a story. She worked as reporter and editor at FreightWaves before taking on her current role as Senior Content Marketing Writer. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.