Trucker Tools announced two initiatives designed to help brokers and truckers overcome the unprecedented challenges of sourcing, securing and managing transportation operations during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The company has launched two initiatives, effective today:
- Waiver of overage fees and enabling unlimited use of the Trucker Tools industry-leading platform for real-time visibility of truckload shipments in transit, as well as when and where trucks are available for their next load. The fee waiver is in effect for 60 days and applies to current and new customers.
- A new, COVID-19 section of the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, serving as a clearinghouse for information, resources and other support services to help truckload providers manage the challenges of operating safely and successfully in the current pandemic environment. Nearly 900,000 independent owner-operators and some 130,000 small-fleet operators utilize Trucker Tools’ mobile driver app.
The Trucker Tools real-time visibility platform is 100-percent GPS based and provides precise shipment location information on-demand, to a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer. It’s integrated with the Trucker Tools mobile driver app and provides automated, continual updates of truck location and a visual display of the route from origin to destination. Truck locations are updated every five minutes using the GPS technology native to the trucker’s smart phone.
“Shippers have heightened interest in the safe and secure transit of their goods – and meeting critical on-time delivery deadlines,” says Prasad Gollapalli, founder and chief executive of Trucker Tools. The company, he noted, has seen a nearly 25% increase in loads tracked on its platform this month.
The COVID-19 section is a new feature on the mobile driver app. It’s a repository of information about brokers, shippers and other businesses offering specific resources and aid to truck drivers. The clearinghouse will include user-provided links and information on things like special actions brokers have taken to ease the burden on truckers, restaurants providing take-out services for truckers, additional parking locations, nearby hospitals and medical offices, and retail locations like Walmart where drivers can buy groceries and supplies.
Several logistics providers and freight brokers already are on board with the clearinghouse, providing information on specific actions they’ve taken to support truckers.
BNSF Logistics. Suspended through April 30 Quick Pay processing fees for all qualified carriers currently enrolled in the program. “BNSF Logistics greatly values our carrier partners and are committed to helping them successfully operate their business through this challenging time,” said Lance O’Daniel, BNSF Logistics’ vice president, Supply Chain Solutions.
Kingsgate Logistics. Waived all payment processing and EFS check fees for carriers, reducing carrier expense and speeding up reimbursements for accessorial charges. Expanded use of Book it Now automated booking, making more shipments available through this tool to help carriers find and secure loads and reloads faster. Increased staffing for Live Chat functionality to help carriers solve problems faster, reducing time wasted on a phone call or waiting on hold. “If we can free up time – and capital – for carriers, it helps them stay solvent and keeps the supply chain moving,” said Tom Curee, Kingsgate’s senior vice president, strategy and innovation.
Choptank Transport. Is providing hot meals for truckers making pickups and deliveries at Choptank facilities, designated sanitized rest areas and bathrooms, and gift bags with hand sanitizer and wipes, water, soft drinks, snacks, a safety vest and other personal care and protective gear. “Truckers have an already difficult job that’s made even more stressful in this environment,” said Geoff Turner, president of Choptank. “We’ll learn from this in ways that will make us better partners and appreciate more than ever the sacrifices professional truckers make to support our communities and keep our supply chains flowing.”
The impact of COVID-19 has cut staffing levels and reduced hours at loading and receiving docks, creating additional challenges for truck scheduling and transit times. “It’s a difficult time for everyone, from health care workers on the front lines, to brokers working from home arranging shipment of urgent goods, and truckers trying to make pickups or deliveries where access to shipper locations is changing daily,” Gollapalli said. “Automated, real-time shipment tracking removes the burden of having to call the truck to see if they’re available or to get shipment status updates. Our platform also alerts truckers to changes in shipper requirements, special instructions or protocols, so they can manage for delays or reroutes.”
The principal objective, Gollapalli emphasized, is to “provide tools for brokers and shippers to stay connected with critical capacity, and help drivers stay safe, keep shippers informed and navigate these difficult times successfully so the nation’s need for reliable transportation of urgent supplies continues to be met.” He added,
“We encourage other industry participants to stand with us in support of our nation’s truckers. Any broker, shipper, 3PL, warehouse operator or organization providing a special service or benefit for truckers is welcome to share their efforts with us; we will include your initiative in this special COVID-19 driver’s resource.”