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What Is On-Demand Trucking?

Demand drives the trucking industry. And as consumers have embraced the ease of online shopping with speedy delivery, the on-demand mentality has shaped how businesses, and the trucking industry, do business.

Considering the convenience and cost-effectiveness of transporting goods by truck, it’s no surprise that on-demand shipping and trucking emerged as an attractive option for businesses.

What are you waiting for? Find capacity and increase margins. Buy now.

On-demand trucking: What is it?

On-demand trucking allows shippers to book a truck as needed, eliminating the need for long-term contracts. This is especially useful for businesses without the capacity to support a fleet of trucks.

When a shipper needs something delivered quickly, they use an app or website to find available drivers in their area, book the best bid to confirm the job, and pay for a shipment—quickly. On-demand trucking expedites the process to allow shippers to move their products on the same day and helps them maintain full truckloads.

What are the benefits of on-demand trucking?

On-demand trucking services can improve flexibility and lower costs, which improves the return on investment (ROI).

Here are some key benefits for carriers, shippers, and brokers:

For carriers

  • Fewer empty hauls: By taking advantage of the on-demand trucking marketplace, drivers can fill their trucks more quickly and efficiently. This reduces the chances of wasting time and money on empty hauls.
  • Flexible hours: On-demand trucking lets drivers take loads that fit in their schedule or help them close the gap when they need an additional haul to get them to their next location.
  • More revenue: On-demand trucking opens up opportunities to charge higher rates than traditional trucking services due to urgency. They can also use on-demand platforms to receive invoice payment from shippers online soon after delivery.

For shippers

  • Flexible bookings: Shippers can book trucks on short notice, making it easier to respond quickly to changes in demand.
  • Real-time tracking: On-demand platforms offer real-time tracking information so shippers can monitor product movement and know exact time of arrival.
  • Lower costs: On-demand trucking lowers costs, eliminating the need for long-term construct negotiations and uncertain market fluctuations. They can take advantage of competitive pricing in real time to get the best deal for their shipment.

For brokers

  • Expanded services: Industry experts expect major brokers with more volume to benefit from on-demand trucking. Brokers that use digital solutions will see more diverse load options and the biggest returns.
  • More market insights: Brokers can use on-demand trucking to understand the market better and help match carriers with shippers who need their services. This ultimately expands, and improves, their revenue opportunities.

How technology improves on-demand trucking

Technology continues to play a key role in expediting the ability of on-demand trucking. With almost half of truckers using a mobile app to carry out their daily responsibilities, drivers are becoming more familiar with how to find and negotiate loads. This is even more important when it comes to on-demand trucking with tight turnarounds. 

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are moving on-demand trucking forward with digital freight matching, changing the way shippers and carriers interact.

Technologies empower customers to negotiate rates and prices competitively. For example, Truckstop Rate Insights is the only spot market rate tool using AI and ML to deliver more accurate, same-day rate estimates at the load level.

Real-time updates on a truck’s location and performance with the help of sensors and cameras are significantly changing trucking. For example, federally mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) capture driver performance and log data on hours of service (HOS), driving speed, and braking. IoT-based sensors can also indicate when a truck needs maintenance or repairs. In on-demand trucking, where time is of the essence, this helps alert shippers of any hurdles so they can address them quickly and keep freight moving. 

Maximizing on-demand trucking opportunities

Find reliable carriers

Shippers should look for carriers with experience in on-demand trucking and follow these steps:

  • Check that the carrier has all the insurance, licensing, and permits to operate legally.
  • Make sure the carrier has liability limits to protect against financial losses. Conditions like extreme temperatures or severe weather may damage the shipment.
  • Ask for references and get feedback from past customers. Don’t solely rely on online reviews.
  • Research their reputation in the industry to ensure they have a good track record.
  • Find out what technology and software the carrier uses to stay competitive.

Use software to automate processes

Use software that automates communication and tracking to monitor a shipment’s progress. Automation reduces errors and ensures the process runs smoothly.

Keep learning

Learn about the latest developments and trends in on-demand trucking to stay ahead of the competition.

Find loads on-demand with Truckstop

On-demand trucking is revolutionizing the industry, providing a reliable and cost-effective alternative to traditional services.

And it’s only going to get better as technology advances. Truckstop’s online marketplace can help connect shippers and carriers quickly.

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