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Focus on Individual Employees

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Smartphone technology offers shippers and vendors the abilities to pair workers with the devices most appropriate for their daily work. As mobile devices gain sophistication and become more diverse and varied, companies are striving to match the job with the right device.

While smartphones are gaining precedence in supply chain operations, they are still subject to the wear and tear. However, ruggedized cases have increased reliability for handheld devices to withstand daily outdoor usage.

Many asset-lite carriers leverage smartphone technology. Using apps, proprietary programs and mobile interfaces, smartphone technology uses the pings from that smartphone that’s sitting with the driver and create a breadcrumb trail of how freight is being tracked. Also, applications on the backend enable a driver to signature capture information and create a proof of delivery. This is helping to improve service delivery, so most large fleets have invested in such apps. In fact, at least 90 percent of truck drivers now have a mobile device with tracking features. Some companies have even chosen to track vehicles from a smartphone app, whether or not the driver is on the clock.

While tracking apps focus on freight and fleet, others are focused on the drivers. Smartphones give an open network of carriers the ability to act like a closed-fleet network. Companies are able to get the same kind of status information from a cell phone that is available via proprietary technology or in a controlled IVMS/Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) global unit.

Since the ELD mandate went into effect, companies are seeking ways to enhance the efficiency of new technology for the industry, while keeping safety as a top priority. Therefore, in recognition of the increased risk of drivers becoming distracted by phones, many ELD apps prevent drivers from changing status while in motion. The information and services available via smartphone apps is increasing as this technology’s place in the trucking industry evolves.

Looking at the world of trucking based on a 2017 Samsung enterprise mobility trends study, results show just how key smartphones are — not only for the drivers but also for mobile fleet management.

How Drivers Use Their Smartphones

In the latest data (2017), eighty-seven percent of drivers say they used their smartphones every single day for work and, on average, they spend 37 percent of their workday using a smartphone. Drivers’ top three uses for smartphones:

  • Making calls — 70 percent
  • Navigation — 55 percent
  • Texting or chatting — 51 percent

Half of drivers surveyed say they always communicate with dispatch using their smartphones, indicating just how important a tool smartphones are for mobile fleet management.

Despite this, the 2017 survey data suggests that there are many areas where smartphones can still make a bigger difference. For example, just 19 percent of drivers always record delivery status using their smartphones and only 26 percent log their driving hours using a smartphone.

The flip side of the convenience of smartphones is the increased risk of drivers becoming distracted by phones — therefore, many ELD and other apps prevent drivers from changing status while in motion.

The information and services available via smartphone apps are increasing as this technology’s place in the trucking industry evolves. Since the ELD mandate went into effect, companies continue to seek ways to enhance the efficiency of new technology for the industry, while keeping safety as a top priority.

To hear more about the Impact of Technology on the Supply Chain Management view here.

Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. We specialize in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products. Visit www.duprelogistics.com for more information.

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