Before the advent of online transport management systems (also known as TMS software), organising shipments could be a complex headache, freight supply chain management was becoming tighter, making for rising logistics costs.

Small trucking businesses and self-employed owner drivers sometimes bore the brunt of lack of transparency in the freight supply chain, suffering poor profit margins.  While GPS systems have helped drivers navigate traffic congestion areas and local tariffs, routes have notoriously not been optimised to achieve fair fees for loads.

Frequently, according to freight forwarding industry commentators, trucks are less than full, or even empty on-route, adding to overheads of carriers, freight customers and ultimately, consumers.

Communications with shippers and carriers could be hit and miss and unreliable fly-by-night truck drivers have given truckers a bad name.  Keen individual trucking entrepreneurs, wanting to build their business have had to chase contracts and spend too much time on time-wasting paperwork.

Many of the old logistical challenges are being addressed by increasingly sophisticated, interconnected and configurable online TMS software solutions.

TMS System Benefits For Truck Owner-Drivers

By way of illustration, here is a quick overview of some of the benefits of contemporary online TMS systems, that innovative freight brokerage service partners can offer owner operator driversvia their convenient smart phone apps:

· Live, up to the moment truck waiting list
· Choice of preferred contracts and destinations
· Live chat with shipping customers
· Push notification for jobs coming up
· GPS mapping of traffic issues

· Real time delivery time estimation

 

As self-employed drivers build experience with a company, shippers are able to see their history and feedback, opening up more opportunities for reliable, professional drivers.  By the same token, the carriers can build profiles of shipping customers too. Consistently poor performance of truck drivers can eventually lead to their exclusion from systems, giving confidence to users of the app that they can expect a high quality of service.

Truckers also benefit from being paid within 24 hours, without quibble, for contracts completed satisfactorily.  Some freight broker companies and carriers using contemporary TMS systems are also partnering with finance companies, so will be able to support good drivers with advance loans, making for loyal relationships with drivers through adding value.

Transparency for the start-up freight brokerage, their TMS supply chain and customers is key to creating an edge, building relationships that create brand loyalty and reputation and ultimately longevity.  Easily retrievable information offers the benefit of trusting partners, based on accuracy of transparent data.

With the added attractions of mobile based software apps that connect self-employed owner drivers with freight shipping companies and individuals needing fast and cheap parcel delivery, it is no surprise that industry commentators refer to an easing in the squeeze on capacity in recent years.

With companies springing up around the world who can quickly facilitate shipments and simply freight contract management and payments, what Uber did for the taxi business is likely to continue the development of the small and medium sized self-employed truck driver business.