With the trucking industry facing acute driver shortages throughout the country, and customers demanding more and more in terms of timely deliveries and efficiency in processes from their logistics partners, fleet managers and freight service providers are now turning to smartphones to revolutionize the trucking business.
While not adopted by the entire trucking industry yet, fleet management systems that run on smartphones, tablet PCs and other handheld gadgets are gradually making a noticeable impact by helping improve efficiency, and driving innovation. Because this helps make the lives of truckers easier, too, the retention ratio in the industry has also improved. Truckers are now more comfortable doing their jobs, knowing how smartphones are making things better for their lives on the road.
According to a recent survey conducted by GFK Public Communications and Social, on behalf of Samsung enterprise mobility trends, 87% of truckers say they use their smartphone for work every day; spending an average of 37% of their workday using their smartphone.
Unsurprisingly, tablet PCs and smartphones are an integral part of a trucker’s work life. From navigation to checking gas prices and booking loads to connecting with job providers, smartphones make it so much easier for truck drivers while they’re making trips. From a survey conducted back in 2012 by uship.com, you’d be surprised by the answers that truckers gave when asked what they’d be willing to give up just to keep their smartphone. 20% of truck drivers were willing to give up CB radios, 8% said they’d be okay with leaving their pets, and surprisingly, 16% said they’d even be willing to give their spouses up! And that’s when we knew exactly how important smartphones had become to truckers.
Drivers also seem to be content with the utilities smartphones are providing them. Skype, a popular instant messaging and video calling app, is among one of the favorite mobile apps of truck drivers. With Wi-Fi access at most stops on the major highways, it has made it easier for drivers to keep in touch with their families.
However, experts believe there are still ample opportunities for fleet managers to use smartphones and industry-specific apps to the benefit of both, their business and their drivers. Since drivers are already comfortable with the technology, transportation companies can use automated fleet management solutions, tracker systems, and centralized fuel logs, in addition to getting real-time updates regarding the location of their trucks and the estimated delivery times.