Tag: freight

It’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. A Nice Gesture – but not Enough.

One of the silver linings of the Covid pandemic has been the near universal effort to redefine – or at least expand – the definition of the term “hero.” Law enforcement, military personnel, firefighters, and others who regularly put their lives on the line rightfully earned the title long ago. But the pandemic opened our eyes to whole new groups of Americans who merit the same accolade. The term “essential worker” is now part of our national consciousness, reflecting the risks and sacrifices taken by nurses, caretakers, grocery store workers, cleaning personnel, and – of course – truck drivers.

This week (September 13-19) marks annual National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. It’s a well-deserved acknowledgement for the 3.5 million men and women who hit the highways every day to keep our economy moving. Given all that has happened in 2020, this year’s salute to truck drivers takes on added significance.

“Appreciation” is a worthy sentiment – but it’s not action

Almost 6 percent of Americans work in the trucking industry, amounting to 7.5 million jobs. 97% of these truckers work for small, independent carriers owning just a handful of trucks – and in the cases of owner-operators, just a single truck.

The men and women of the trucking industry have stepped up in countless ways to serve our country and fellow citizens during this emergency.

They drove straight into COVID-19 hot spots to deliver ventilators, personal protective equipment and other medical equipment to hospitals. When a panicked public made a run on store shelves, they hustled to make sure essentials like toilet paper and other household necessities remained available to consumers. They risked their own health and safety in a time of need, often spending days and even weeks away from home.

“Thank you” is a good start – but it’s not nearly enough. National Truck Driver Appreciation week must be followed up by action. 

Trucker challenges & the LaneAxis perspective

Multiple studies have shown that truck drivers suffer significantly poorer health than the general population. The most shocking statistic of all: according to the CDC, the average life expectancy for a commercial truck driver is only 61 YEARS OLD. That is roughly 16 years lower than the national average.

That stunning statistic has many contributing factors, but the stress, uncertainty, and inequities of the trucking industry as it exists today certainly isn’t helping. This year’s massive protests against unscrupulous freight brokers exposed one of several major fault lines fracturing the industry.

Here’s just a snapshot of the challenges facing truckers:

Trucking troubles:

  • Poor pay
  • Dishonest and manipulative brokers
  • Non-guaranteed payment
  • Long delays for payment – forced factoring
  • Billions of dollars and hundreds of hours lost to detention time
  • Burdensome HOS restrictions
  • Scattershot and confusing legislation impacting drivers’ livelihoods (e.g. California Assembly Bill 5)

And this barely scratches the surface.

LaneAxis has long recognized these issues and troubling trends, and built a system designed to directly address many of them.

Most significantly – the LaneAxis Direct Freight Network is focused on empowering Carriers to connect and negotiate directly with Shippers. This dynamic network will solve many of the pain points plaguing truckers. Crucially, this includes eliminating the need to work with brokers, which in turn puts more money in Carriers’ bank accounts. For example, if a broker takes a 20% fee on a $1,000 load, you only make $800. In our model you will receive nearly the full $1,000 (minus a small transaction fee). LaneAxis also guarantees payment to the Carrier prior to the load being tendered, usually within 24-48 hours of delivery – so no more need for factoring.

Our FreightVISION feature provides real-time shipment tracking data, including geofence entry and exit notifications. This will dramatically reduce detention time disputes. The system also provides in-app messaging (no more check calls), truck-specific navigation, and instantly uploaded e-docs. All of these features are designed to reduce overhead costs for Carriers.

On the legislative front, LaneAxis supports all efforts to improve conditions for drivers – particularly as it relates to abusive brokers and detention time. We are proud to partner with the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO), which lobbies on behalf of small, independent Carriers, along with providing a wide range of benefits. AAOO membership is included at no cost to subscribed members of the LaneAxis platform.

LaneAxis proudly salutes all truckers during this National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Now let’s all get to work by taking concrete action to improve their professional and personal lives. Visit LaneAxis.com to learn more.

Fill ‘Er Up – How A Professional Trucker Network Aims to Eliminate 20 BILLION Empty Truck Miles Per Year

How A Professional Trucker Network Aims to Eliminate 20 BILLION Empty Truck Miles Per Year

You read that right – every year U.S. trucks drive an estimated 20 BILLION miles hauling zero, zilch, nada – just empty trailers. Only McDonald’s should brag about numbers like that. The transportation industry should be ashamed.

Commonly referred to as “Deadhead Miles,” the costs associated with so many ghost hauls span far and wide, touching virtually every sector of our society:

  • “For-hire” independent drivers – comprising the vast majority of the U.S. trucking workforce – lose thousands of dollars per year because of empty backhauls returning home after dropping off a load.
  • The estimated 1 million trucks driving empty every day are needlessly contributing to our crumbling highways and infrastructure.
  • The Environment: An estimated 67 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are emitted by empty trucks every year. Let’s all breathe that in. Actually, let’s not.
  • Business Costs: Trucking companies (carriers), shippers (manufacturers), and even third-party freight brokers also feel the weight of this waste in the form of higher business costs and massive overhead.
  • Consumers: You guessed it. When an entire industry is mired in outrageously inefficient and costly processes… the buck gets passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices for just about everything.

The simplest explanation for how we got here is the remarkable lack of technical and practical foresight that has splintered and stalled the massive $800 billion U.S. freight transportation sector for decades.

Now technology is trying to catch up. Uber is jumping into the freight game. Scores of startups are peddling niche freight-matching solutions to fill empty trailers.

But only one company – LaneAxis – is taking a big-picture approach to solving this 20-billion mile problem. It’s called the “On-Demand Freight Network” – powered by the Professional Trucker App.

Just about every other company out there – new and old – continues to operate on the premise that broker-based load boards are the way to connect companies looking to move freight with drivers/carriers waiting and willing to haul it. Load boards serve a purpose: Shippers or brokers post an available load with a pickup and destination point, a driver calls or electronically submits their interest, the two agree on a price, and voila – the transaction is done.

This does not solve the 20-billion mile problem.

LaneAxis is taking a more holistic approach to this cargo crisis.

The patented LaneAxis platform aims to coalesce the nation’s 4 million truck drivers into a single “Professional Trucker Network,” linked together via a mobile app that serves as a digital home base for drivers. The Pro Trucker App allows drivers to enter their professional and vehicle details along with current and future location(s) into the LaneAxis data network. Shippers and other supply chain parties can then query the network via a web-based portal, set specific parameters and requirements for their shipment(s), then send out “revenue alerts” to all drivers who meet those thresholds. In practice, this gives shippers immediate “on-demand” access to qualified drivers, while giving drivers the opportunity to plan their hauls days and even weeks in advance. This will dramatically reduce the number of deadhead miles.

The LaneAxis Platform

“We’re not focused on a single movement, we’re focused on the movement of the entire network,” says Rick Burnett, LaneAxis CEO & Founder. “We’re not a competitor to a load board because we are a network – really creators of a network that doesn’t exist. We’re about building visibility and reducing costs for an entire industry. You can do everything through our system.”

Burnett says LaneAxis is a true “all-in-one” freight management platform that simply doesn’t exist today.

“Beyond the direct network connectivity we provide, the system also manages all critical aspects of freight movements, including shipper-carrier contracts, insurance documentation, real-time freight tracking with configurable geofences, and all crucial paperwork including proof-of-pickup and proof-of-delivery – all digitally uploaded and archived. We enable organizations to view, analyze, predict and communicate the status of any shipment in real-time.”

The Pro Trucker App offers drivers numerous value adds including free truck-specific navigation, real-time fuel pricing and discounts, and instant access to “AAOO Mobile” – the mobile platform for the American Association of Owner Operators, one of LaneAxis’ principal partners.

In sum, LaneAxis believes the solution to eliminating those 20 billion empty truck miles is not thousands of scattershot load boards, but a single, unified, transportation network that will benefit shippers, drivers, and consumers equally.

Visit https://www.laneaxis.com to learn more.

Drivers! Join the LaneAxis Pro Trucker Network Today! Download the App Now:

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