Mobile Technology Beginning to Dominate The Truck Industry
24/02/2015
Mobile Technology Beginning to Dominate The Truck Industry

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Mobile Technology Beginning to Dominate the Truck Industry

Trading in trucks is becoming an increasingly mobile-orientated activity more so than ever before, according to research by Auto Trader Trucks. The UK’s leading truck buying and selling online platform has released figures showing a trend for trading away from traditional desktop computers and towards connected devices, such as tablets and smart phones.
 
Latest figures show that 31% of visits to Auto Trader Trucks that go on to lead to a purchase now originate from a mobile device; while a further twenty per cent are coming from tablets. Deals done using mobile technology now account for the lion’s share of the online truck trade, which highlights the increasing need to advertise through mobile-friendly platforms and even purpose-built apps.
 
The world of business is proliferated with hand-held connected devices as the digital age continues to overtake more traditional methods at pace. Email now dominates written correspondence, live chat has begun to displace phone communication and online advertising has already put many print publications to the sword. This makes staying in contact with the trade while out and about is now a top priority for all hauliers.
 
Sarah Munnery of Auto Trader Trucks believes that this trend shows “no signs of abating”, saying: “We are seeing a huge rise in the number of mobile-device driven sales year on year, which is transforming the way that both businesses and private owners search and buy trucks. Our platform’s ability to easily research and source the ideal truck for your business from anywhere is making trading in trucks easier than it ever has been before.”
 
The growing need for truckers to embrace mobile technology is showcased by the recent installation of free-flow tolls at the Dartford Tunnel. When passing through the new tolls drivers can no longer pay at the tolls themselves and must either have an account or instead log on to pay the charge before midnight or face substantial fines; making it imperative for truckers to be able to log on at their next stop within transit.
 
There is no denying the increasing reliance of transportation firms on using mobile technology and that is only going to rise. Tablets and smart phones are now an essential part of any trucker’s lifestyle and are continuing transforming other aspects of the truck industry on a day-to-day basis in a variety of ways.
 
Location-based technology
 
The rise of connected devices has given haulage firms access to location-based services, which have revolutionised their visibility across their business. It allows them to monitor the in-transit progress of their fleet of vehicles and ensures that delivery deadlines are met. Keeping such a tight hold on the location of vehicles also enables businesses to remain flexible to any new pick-up and delivery work that may come up at short notice by being able to allocate vehicles from nearby drop-off points to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
 
With high fuel prices it is also difficult for haulage firms to remain viable under increasing financial pressure. Keeping a close eye on fuel consumption has therefore become imperative for small and large haulers alike. With visibility over their entire fleet, organisations can easily map out the most effective route for drivers to use between pick-up and drop-off points to keep their mileage down and therefore become more fuel efficient.
 
Harnessing real-time information
 
Real-time information is the buzz word in industry as businesses clamber to react quicker than their competition. Truckers are the eyes and ears of the company out on the road and relaying incidents as they happen back to their HQ can enable others to bypass any potential hold-up or delay. That gives HQ the ability to manoeuvre their fleet around any traffic or other road hold-up immediately in order to avoid missing any delivery deadlines.
 
Truckers and haulage firms can also leverage this vital mobile resource to stop wasted journeys with empty trailers where possible. Mobile access to platforms where potential work is detailed helps a transport firm find out if there are any opportunities to take additional cargo that needs transporting along their route helping them to win new business while on the move and capitalise on any dead time.
 
Creating a mobile-working environment
 
The amount of work involved in the logistics of moving cargo for one location to another can be huge. Traditionally, everything would have to be handled at headquarters, but tablets and other connected devices have allowed drivers to turn their cab into a rolling office throughout transit. Mobile technology has also helped to slash the time-consuming nature of paperwork, checklists and vital correspondence done on delivery, which can now be handled at the destination and relayed back to HQ via software uploaded onto a mobile device.
 
Helping to exceed customer expectations
 
Mobile technology is helping both blue chip haulage companies and independent drivers alike to meet rising customer expectations. Businesses and private customers now expect parcels and cargo to be visible throughout transit regardless of distance covered and price paid. Using mobile devices to log journey milestones, take photos of cargo at pick-up and delivery to safeguard them and even relay any traffic incidents on route. This all enables customers to remain in control at all times by making adjustments if necessary to ensure everything stays on schedule.
 
One device for all
 
Statistics show that over two thirds of truck drivers now own a smart phone, which can sync neatly between work and personal commitments. It allows drivers to stay connected with friends and family using social networking and apps, but also keep them up to date with vital correspondence from work on the same device. The rise of trucking apps also enables a driver to use their smart phone as a GPS tool on even the most demanding routes and offers the ability to find places to stay and eat while in an unfamiliar location. Very few truckers remain unconnected now or are distant from online interaction making them accessible wherever they are.
 
The fast-paced nature of mobile technology has transformed the world of logistics indeterminably and will continue to shape it moving forward.  Whether you are buying and selling trucks or looking for more work online, then tablets and smart phones are at the heart of business. Staying at the forefront of the trade requires a mobile-friendly approach and commitment to keeping your fleet flexible and reactive to issues and opportunities as and when they arise.

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