Imagine freight brokers going about their days without phones. The thought seems absurd, right?
Now imagine those same brokers without phones covering many more loads than the competition in a shorter amount of time.
It’s hard to picture such a concept, as phones have been an integral tool for freight brokers since the beginning, but it’s soon to become a reality.
Mobile app TruckPager is promising a freight booking future without phone calls. Instead, brokers and shippers can reach the nearest empty trucks with a single notification.
“We’re eliminating the unnecessary phone calls and time it takes to find drivers, thus solving how the load-matching and booking process is done,” said Abdirashid Bashir, software engineer and founder of the Kansas City, Missouri-based startup.
His thesis is simple: Brokers waste too much time covering shipments. It takes patience to post a load to a board and then wait for takers. But as time goes by with little to no traction, this leaves many desperately breaking out the phones.
Bashir estimates that brokers make anywhere from 60 to 100 calls a day, an immeasurable amount of time wasted on calls that likely lead nowhere.
With TruckPager, brokers can instead send notifications to an unlimited number of drivers on the platform within a specified region.
“All of the nearest drivers will receive a notification and whoever’s interested will reply back by accepting the load or sending a counteroffer,” Bashir said. The notification itself can be toggled by the driver to match his or her preferences and can be silenced when needed.
The freight-matching process is rather simple. Bashir explains that brokers need only to fill out a shipment order on the app to get things started. Once pickup and drop locations are configured and the booking is confirmed, the app will do the rest.
“A lot of drivers and owner-operators depend on remote dispatchers that charge them a lot of money,” Bashir said. “TruckPager allows drivers to dispatch themselves.” He stressed how much drivers could retain if they weren’t subjected to dispatcher service fees upward of 12% to 15%.
What’s more, Bashir notes that other freight booking platforms lack visibility in tracking drivers before and during deliveries. Other platforms may have intuitive dashboards to post and book loads, but they still require brokers to rely on the antiquated practice of calling drivers for location updates. These systems are ripe with miscommunication, which causes confusion and frustration for all parties involved.
But TruckPager tracks drivers in real time, giving brokers the insight needed to keep an eye on each driver. The added visibility does away with the use of third-party tracking tools.
Once a delivery is completed via TruckPager, the app won’t allow a driver to accept other jobs until POD, lumper receipts and all other paperwork are submitted. In turn, Bashir said this lessens the amount of work needed for the broker and ensures all documents are delivered to their customers on time every time.
Bashir’s own experience in the trucking industry pushed him to develop TruckPager. Over the course of a decade, he felt that the freight booking process was too cumbersome and was surprised that a load-matching platform with live truck tracking had yet to enter the market. So Bashir, relying on his eight years of software development experience, took it upon himself to bring it to fruition.
TruckPager launches in May, however, the app is already available to download for Apple and Android devices.