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Mobile apps are helping truck drivers tackle routing challenges for the swell of necessary deliveries brought on by the coronavirus.
Trucking normally has numerous apps and other digital platforms at its disposal. But the COVID-19 pandemic that has increased the load for trucks also has increased ways for the industry to move freight more efficiently.
Transflo, for instance, provides tools like traffic updates, electronic logs and document uploads. On March 25, it launched a suite of free digital tools to help fleets during the crisis.
“Truckers are essential to our economy, and they want the latest information about trucking and coronavirus in one convenient place,” Transflo CEO Frank Adelman said. “We are listening and now provide free resources to help the industry manage business and stay up-to-date with this constantly changing situation.”
Rolling Strong, provider of driver wellness programs for truckers, already knows the importance of an app. During the pandemic, its goal is to get information out to all drivers, not just paid subscribers.
“We have been distributing that content through an e-mail distribution list. We’ve created our own COVID-19 wellness tips web page,” Rolling Strong President Steve Kane told Transport Topics.
Kane added that a task force was created early on to tackle the coronavirus.
“We’ve focused on things that are very specific to the driver community, like reducing touch points at truck stops because there are a lot of those, educating people on how long the virus lives on different types of metals and plastics and surfaces, how they can protect themselves, how they can deal with the stress, not only for themselves but their families,” he said.
Rolling Strong is also providing information such as which truck stops are still open, proper nutrition to help boost the immune system, basic facts about the virus, where drivers can still exercise and where they can still get a physical to comply with medical requirements for a commercial driver license.
Kane added there are ongoing talks with doctors about the coronavirus to ensure accurate and updated information is being relayed.
Trucker Tools, an app that specializes in digital load tracking and freight matching, is giving the same assurance.
“What we did recently was we added a COVID-19 spot to our app,” company founder Prasad Gollapalli said.
And there are updates. “The basic things, like if a particular shipper is doing something special for these guys, or truck stops that say we are still open 24/7, but instead of a buffet, now we have packed meals for drivers to pick up,” he said. “A broker offering no quick pay fees for the next two months.”
The goal is to provide truck drivers with information specific to helping them navigate the challenges brought on by the coronavirus.
“The community is coming together to help drivers,” Gollapalli said. “Our job at Trucker Tools is to find all of this information, provide an opportunity for everyone in transportation or outside transportation to push that information to us to get to the truckers. So then the truckers have one easy way to find it while they are on the road.”
Relay Payments allows electronic payments for freight handlers who unload. The mobile app company is waiving transaction fees through at least the month of April.
“What we have seen is volumes are up, especially at grocery and cold storage distribution centers,” Relay Payments President Spencer Barkoff told TT. “We’re doing our part to help brokers and carriers. We are waiving our transaction fees.”
Samsara provides an app that helps fleets to access real-time information about vehicles, assets and workers. That includes engine diagnostics and sensor data. The company detailed on its blog tips on how to leverage its technology and how to navigate government rules and guidance during the pandemic.
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