With technology on the rise, we are always discovering new ways to improve our lives whether it be by making things faster, easier or more efficient, it’s tempting to think that we can have everything-right in the palm of our hands. And with the technology being on the cutting edge of every industry, more mobile –apps are being invented particularly for truck drivers. A new addition to trucker tech are Freight Platform Mobile Apps specifically for small carriers and independent drivers. The freight platform apps promise that downloading this app, will help you book loads and grow your business all from the convenience of your smart phone. With major companies like Uber jumping on board, creating Uber Freight app that offers “upfront load pricing” and “quick payment” for small carriers, it’s tempting to switch to an app based freight platform for your business to gain revenue. But is it too good to be true? Especially when there are other reputable resources that help find freight, like dispatching or load platforms to consider. Before you hit download on that freight platform mobile app, let’s breakdown the pros and cons of the newest addition to trucker technology.
Pro: Convenience – Freight Platform apps are designed to streamline communication and are user-friendly so it is easy to access what loads you are looking for and secure a load just by the click of a button – 24 hours a day.
Con: With Convenience comes comfort-ability, and that can be taken advantage of by brokers who are able to assess what loads you have taken in the past and potentially offer you a lower rate than what the load is worth. If you get stuck using the same brokers over and over again on the mobile app, you risk being offered a lower rate than if your load platform was more diverse, with more brokers to negotiate with. It’s a good rule of thumb not to limit your options, so if you use the freight mobile app, don’t use it for every load. You are closing yourself off from using other viable resources!
Pro: Efficiency – Not only do freight platform apps like Convey or Uber Freight promise convenience they offer the ability to access a variety of loads at the blink of an eye and then simply push a button to acquire a load in a matter of minutes. It is fast and easy as opposed to if you are booking a load by yourself from a load board, it can sometimes take several calls just to secure one load. And in an industry where time= miles, less time searching for loads means more time to be on the road making money.
Con: If you are a new carrier it can be enticing to see a high freight rate for a load and want to snatch it up right away. The mobile app lets you do it at a click of the button, right? But did you account for the fees getting out, or if there are any special permits or dock fees for the load? High freight rates can be too good to be true when there are hidden costs to consider. If you are new to the industry, it helps to have a resource like a dispatch service to make sure you are negotiating the best rate for your freight. Mobile apps can’t do that for you. (Yet)
Pro: Freight–Platform mobile apps not only supply a variety of loads but they also provide carriers with upfront information about the load like if it’s pallet loaded or floor loaded so you can prepare ahead of time what factors will affect your drop-off. This transparency allows for an upfront process in terms of pick-up and drop off for your loads. However it’s important to keep in mind, that pertinent information such as permit fees or other hidden costs are not always included in the freight rate.
Con: Although the app is transparent with the load information, it is not transparent with the fact that as a carrier you might be missing out on 3 times the amount of loads you would have access to if you are working with a Dispatcher or a load platform. So figuratively speaking, you are looking through a sliver of the sliding glass door instead of the open door of load opportunities that other resources can offer you. And at the end of the day, if you limit your options, you are limiting your potential income and your company’s ability to grow.