Roadrunner Freight, the trucking arm of Roadrunner Transportation Systems (NYSE: RRTS), has unveiled a mobile application called Haul NOW that leverages technology to connect independent contractors with loads coming from the company. The Haul NOW app has been developed to provide contractors more visibility into available loads within the Roadrunner network, thus improving efficiency and reducing downtime.
Users of the application can now view documents, access historical dispatch and settlement information and obtain directions to service centers, helping bridge the traditional disconnect between shippers and carriers by improving communication. Roadrunner Freight has over 2,000 team members, company drivers and independent contractors, and handles roughly 7,000 less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments daily, with Haul NOW being a much-needed boost to its operations.
“Continued investment in technology, starting with this app, advances our mission of being the destination of choice for independent contractors and drivers. This is a huge step in improving the transparency of our network and streamlining communication between Roadrunner Freight and our customers, independent contractors and partners,” said Frank Hurst, president of Roadrunner Freight.
In its testing phase, the company actively solicited and received feedback from its independent contractors, which helped it customize the application to improve the overall experience of working together.
“Constantly focusing on technology enhancements is crucial in our industry and extremely important to our company,” said Michael Rapken, chief information officer at Roadrunner Transportation Systems. “The launch of this application is just one of the ways we are using technology to emphasize the driver experience. Driver safety is a priority for Roadrunner Freight; therefore, our app requires users to declare that their vehicle is in park to eliminate driver distractions.”
That said, this is not the first time such an application goes live within the trucking ecosystem. For instance, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) launched a digital platform last year that connects freight carriers with the company’s spot loads.
As technology becomes mainstream in the industry, companies are looking to disrupt the traditional method of calling up carriers via telephone to ask them if they have the capacity to move a load at a specific time. DTNA found that the company could cut down processing times from a couple of hours to just a few minutes, simply by connecting with the independent contractors through the application, instead of calling them by telephone.
Digitalization has also helped independent contractors get paid faster, as users can upload documents immediately after they unload freight/ This increases overall operational efficiency, with carriers being able to move to their next load without delay.