The recent Stay Metrics Stay Index Report echoed consistent themes among truck drivers: they want to work for companies with a driver-centric culture and get paid fairly for their time and service. Stress related to lack of home time, equipment troubles, and delays were highlighted as top concerns. While the focus of the report wasn’t specifically researching new trucking technology, integrating digital tools into everyday processes can address these concerns.
More and more carrier companies today are using smartphones to find and book freight, rather than calling to book a load. Digital brokers and tech startups are improving the carrier experience by offering technology that gives even the smallest carriers the tools they need to make their business more productive.
The key to success is collaboration with users.
Every freight technology platform hopes to seamlessly align carrier expectations and market needs, but the challenge is maintaining the human connection while remaining efficient. J.B. Hunt has grown its platform, J.B. Hunt 360, into a digital hub for freight efficiency by leveraging its decades of experience as a carrier, as well as its own relationships with carriers. In 2017, the company added a marketplace to J.B. Hunt 360, which utilizes data to match shippers’ freight needs with carrier capacity, further enhancing productivity in the supply chain.
That same year, it launched Carrier 360 by J.B. Hunt, a carrier-focused platform built to help small fleets and owner-operators save money, find more time to drive, and have a better overall experience. Collaboration with carriers, customers, and J.B. Hunt employees drives development of Carrier 360, and J.B. Hunt uses every interaction as an opportunity to gather feedback.
With technology like Carrier 360, long hold times on the phone, calling in to update load status, and time-consuming document submission processes are no longer the norm. Carrier 360 reduces the time it takes to find the right load by sending personalized load recommendations and providing load information before the carrier books, including special requirements, location amenities, average facility wait time, and even carrier-submitted facility reviews. It’s a feature that helps hold shippers accountable for the experience they offer to the carriers who pick up and deliver their goods.
“With the facility ratings, that lets me know that J.B. Hunt is concerned about how we were treated at the facilities,” said James Brown, a small fleet owner and third-party carrier using Carrier 360. “You have someone on your side that really cares about you and how your drivers were treated.”
Dock delays continue to be a point of frustration within the trucking community. Improving visibility and reducing tension throughout the process are essential to getting paid and eliminating on-the-road stress for carriers and their drivers. Carrier 360 applies automation and location-based geofencing to address detention. For example, if a carrier has not completed a loaded or unloaded check call within two hours of arriving at a stop, the mobile app automatically asks the carrier for a status update. If the carrier has not yet loaded or unloaded, the detention clock begins.
The most recent enhancements to Carrier 360 bring more details and greater personalization to the load search. The map view has long been a favorite for carriers to understand load volume by state but visibility into details like specific commodity, special requirements, offer history, and average facility wait time is essential to making informed offers and choosing the right load. In addition, carriers wanting to move a J.B. Hunt 360box power only load can complete necessary documents inside the app in seconds. And users can negotiate or book instantly directly from the search screen.
“All of these are features carriers asked for during feedback sessions, roundtables, and in online comments. We know every improvement to our app has to be driven by the carriers themselves or we’re not truly serving their needs,” said Shelley Simpson, executive vice president, chief commercial officer, and president of highway services at J.B. Hunt.
With the right tools, carriers can be more efficient and have a better day-to-day experience for their business and their drivers. The platform gives small trucking companies the opportunity to connect with their business on a deeper level. Historically, carriers either invested in costly technology or opted for time-consuming manual paperwork. Carrier 360 is free for carrier companies and their employees.
“We’re working every day, as hard as we can, to improve the driver and carrier experience, to really change what’s happening in the industry today,” said Simpson.