Article written by Brian Straight
Carrier is also using shipment visibility, automated booking and document capture tools
Continuing a trend that has seen major truckload carriers adopt flexible technology tools, Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) has gone live with a suite of freight management and carrier engagement tools from Trucker Tools.
Among the tools Trucker Tools is supplying to Werner’s brokerage operation is real-time shipment visibility, predictive freight matching, automated booking, and electronic document capture.
“Supply chain visibility is critically important, particularly in these unprecedented times, and that visibility is enabled by being highly connected with alliance carriers,” Andy Damkroger, Werner’s associate vice president of logistics strategy, said in a statement. “Trucker Tools is very focused on driver and carrier convenience, bringing to independent truckers a set of app-based features and functions not typically available from a single third-party logistics provider. We believe the combination of Werner’s in-house capabilities with Trucker Tools provides a unique, advantageous benefit to our carrier partners and customers.”
Werner said the new tools will help freight brokers and smaller carriers, which make up 90% of the industry, improve efficiencies and reduce transactional friction.
“It’s about meeting the carriers where they are, on their terms,” Damkroger said. “We are a driver-centric company and intimately understand a driver’s needs – and burdens – so this is consistent with our philosophy, values and business goals.
Damkroger added that Werner’s shipper customers will see expanded access to more capacity offerings by gaining access to Trucker Tools’ large network of carriers. On the carrier side, he noted that Werner solicits input from drivers and the Trucker Tools platform came highly rated from them.
“We have a carrier advisory board of independent operators that often provides very frank and direct feedback to us, which helps inform a lot of our decision-making,” Damkroger said. “Trucker Tools is one of the platforms they advocated for.”
Prasad Gollapalli, founder and chief executive of Trucker Tools, said the company’s real-time visibility platform is GPS-based and provides precise shipment location on-demand to smartphones, laptops, tablets or desktop computers. It’s integrated with the Trucker Tools’ mobile driver app, which has been downloaded more than 900,000 times, the company said, and is actively used by 140,000 fleets and owner-operators.
The app offers continual updates of truck location and a visual display of the route, updated every five minutes.
“We are very conscious of app-fatigue – it’s a common complaint from truckers,” Damkroger said. “So, while people are tired of constantly getting asked to download another app, they’re not tired of great apps. We are taking advantage of Trucker Tools’ leadership in the market in that regard.”
“We are pleased and excited to welcome one of the industry’s leading transportation firms to the Trucker Tools family,” Gollapalli said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Werner reduce the costs of covering loads, improve carrier engagement and deliver more accurate and timely services and information to its customers.”
The Trucker Tools multi-functional, multi-party mobile app is provided free of charge to independent truckers and small fleets.
Finding an EDGE
The new tools are part of Werner’s push to add flexible technology. Werner was among the first fleets to widely adopt electronic logging devices ahead of the 2018 mandate, and most recently the company announced the Werner EDGE platform, which allows it to develop new solutions and offerings for customers and Werner associates.
“Our drivers’ and customers’ challenges require best-in-class technology, innovation and talent. Anything we can do to make their experiences more productive and rewarding while simplifying their lives deserves our focus and attention,” Derek Leathers, president and chief executive officer, said at the time of the announcement on May 6. “Werner EDGE combines our asset-backed history with our forward-looking logistics strategy to deliver innovative solutions that support our company and the industry-at-large, now and for the road ahead.”
EDGE includes an untethered, tablet-based telematics solution, critical event management tools, and a breakdown management solution to streamline repair orders.
“These solutions are three of many in the pipeline powered by Werner EDGE that will deliver improved performance, increased safety and enhanced communication,” Danny Lilley, vice president of fleet systems and technology, said. “We look forward to producing additional technologies that support our drivers and customers, and deliver the same, long-lasting relationships they’ve come to expect from Werner’s 64-year history.”