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Consolidate truck drivers using an app that all trucking companies can share.

Image credit: Photo by Quintin Gellar: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-volvo-semi-truck-on-side-of-road-2199293/

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Apr 28, 2022
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What if we could solve the problem of the unavailability of truck drivers by hiring both freelance and contracted drivers where the need is greatest to make up for the lack of numbers. Think of it like uber but for just drivers.
  • Most countries have a major gap in the supply chain from major ports to fulfillment centers. There are enough trucks but not enough people willing to drive them as a long term career choice
  • At warehouses and shipping drivers waste at least 2.5 hours waiting for loading and offloading. They also wait for a significantly long time at weighbridges and other truck stops. This is free time that they could use to make some extra money by driving more.
  • The issue of driver retention could also be fixed by this method. Instead of expecting a single driver to drive only a single truck, It would be more efficient to hire whoever is available at the moment to drive it
  • Trucking was at some point very popular, making it easy for anyone with a license to get a job for just a day could appeal to the growing freelance culture among young people who don't want to be tied down to one thing.
  • Since the scarcity is with drivers not trucks, sharing drivers among trucks seems like a very logical solution.
  • Most laws make it compulsory for drivers to take a 10 hour break from driving per day for to get enough rest. It could be great if the 10 hor breaks could fall smoothly into the times the trucks were going to be immobile anyway.
How it works
Partner up with trucking companies to set up an app for drivers. All you need to join the app is a heavy commercial vehicle driver's license. Whenever a driver feels they are free to make a trip they post their availavilibility on the app. Similarly, when a trucking company urgently needs a driver at a location, they post it on the app. I assume that since making money is the goal, anyone who can drive and has nothing they are doing at the moment could pick up the slack.
At waitstops,the drivers at the back could just take the truck in the front from the same company and finish the delivery since truck drivers are interchangable now. It could be possible to have only 3 drivers at a stop slowly moving the trucks through instead of all the drivers wasting hours at one point.
Since drivers are paid by how much they drive not how many trips they make, the system easily transfers over without a need to change logistics or existing payment systems. Also the app could letigate the sighning off of cargo by acting as a sort of guaranteer.
Driving for days on end gets boring fast. Freelancers don't have that concern since they are either driving for the experience or while waiting for something new to come up. Allowing anyone to join and leave whenever may end up bringing more drivers in the long run as more people try it out and realize they like it.


Creative contributions

A market for individual routes that attracts arbitrage

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 28, 2022
What if there was a platform for determining the transportation fees/cost from point A to point B. Depending on the route the system would calculate the standard going price between those two points.
The lower the coverage and availability of transport between the points, the higher the price. This attracts truckers from everywhere and evens out the playing field over time. All the prices are dynamic. Truckers seize opportunities to take on routes while they are in demand. A route that's expensive one day, might be cheap the next because too many truckers turned up.
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General comments

Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
It's a good idea. I think the reason it's not available is accountability. Truck drivers are held accountable for the materials they transport, and the company needs to trust them. Companies are hesitant about putting just anyone behind their wheel.
In some countries, some truckers join a company for a short period with bad intentions such as stealing the truck or its goods. That's one hurdle I could think of that may make companies apprehensive about doing this.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Goran Radanovic This could be solved by implementing additional security measures to fulfill for those registering on truckers' freelance websites. Like scanning your ID, providing proof of similar work in the past, recommendation letters, certificates to prove free of crime history, etc.
The site could also implement refund deposits to be paid in advance by the freelance drivers in case they damage the parcels, cars, etc. Or implement substantial fines to be paid in such cases that would be exacted through a legal process afterwards. Tracking the truck and the cargo itself could also be done quite easily by implementing tracking transmitters powered by a satellite connection. I think additional spendings on security could be justified by an increase in the available workforce which is in high demand at the moment.
The unnecessary psychological factor of fear from the employers' side also plays a lot in this. The removal of this factor is a matter of everyone getting used to the situation and seeing that there are more benefits than disadvantages to using such a system. E.g., covid pandemics helped change many employers' minds about employees working remotely from their homes. It was largely unacceptable before, now the situation is way more flexible.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
Goran Radanovic, I have to agree with Povilas S on this one, the benefits of a greater workforce far outweigh the risk that some members of the workforce might have ill intentions. Satellite tracking paired with a great insurance cover means it is hard to steal cargo and even if they do find a way to steal it, the losses can always be covered by the insurance. Plus more trucks on the roads means more money, you can just factor in theft and accidents as business risks.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Contrived _voice Goran Radanovic We have two car rent companies in my country that let you rent cars in the same way as you rent scooters or bikes for short time through apps in many big cities - a pick-up, drive and drop manner. You could apply the same concerns to this system - it's easy to steal or damage a car for anyone who has an app (=a right to rent it). Nevertheless, the companies are popular and thriving.
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actingcat2 years ago
I think if this app is created and approved for the use of all companies that require truck drivers then it would be sensible to require the access of driver's information and licenses (and recognition from the government) so that if any cargo of any company is damaged the crew responsible will be held accountable or their licenses will be revoked. Though it may seem a strict measure, it will ensure the security of high value cargo 'cause these drivers are freelanced they don't belong to a particular company..
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