Transactions between truckers and other supply chain partners once involved substantial amounts of physical paperwork. Fortunately, digital payments have significantly reduced such processes and the associated hassles. Here are some examples of how they can streamline operations.
Analyzing the Payoffs of Leased Trucks
Fluctuations in the trucking industry can make it impractical to commit to fixed leases on commercial vehicles. However, Daimler Trucks North America introduced a dynamic leasing option where payments vary based on vehicle utilization.
The system uses telematics software to set lease payment rates by tracking miles driven. This approach improves efficiency by helping potential customers calculate whether they can afford a vehicle’s lease obligations more quickly and accurately. They may also discover that leasing a truck is more feasible than initially envisioned.
Some companies also use telematics tools to combine a person’s lease costs with other expenses, such as roadside assistance and insurance. That makes it easier for the customer to budget for most leased vehicle costs, except for fuel.
A leasing strategy could also be cost-effective for fleet companies that want to provide their drivers with the most modern, productive vehicles. However, a manager may use internal telematics software after providing a driver with one.
For example, they might use such tools to verify that a professional has a long history of following road rules and not getting into accidents. Additionally, if a truck does not show the expected fuel economy, a supervisor might investigate whether driving habits are the primary culprits before automatically approving gas-related costs.
Accelerating Driver Payments and Spending Approvals
Transactions for truck drivers on their routes have historically not been as straightforward as for noncommercial vehicle operators. For example, someone who does not drive for their career can use a pay-at-the-pump setup when refueling their vehicle. However, a professional driver typically has to call their company’s headquarters and request a money code.
That’s starting to change due to smartphone-based options. One product called Convoy turns smartphones into sensors that help drivers plan their routes and pick-up points. It finds available loads for them and aims to reduce wait times. However, if delays do occur, the Convoy app automatically distributes the detention payment.
Elsewhere, Comdata offers services that combine card-based payments with a cloud tool. Fleet companies give drivers cards that can automatically receive payroll, cash advances and fuel payments. However, card owners that prefer digital payments can enter a code in a software portal to automatically add their available funds to a mobile wallet.
Removing Third-Party Payment Hassles
Numerous sources profile the trucking industry experiencing ongoing challenges hiring drivers. Statistics show that 55 is the average age of professional drivers. There’s no dominating reason why it’s difficult to recruit younger people. Some may not like the prospect of spending so much time on the road, while others don’t like that they must wait until age 21 to get a commercial license. That reality eliminates the chances of starting a career immediately after high school.
Payments drivers make to third parties can also cause frustrations that could contribute to high turnover rates. For example, drivers typically pay lumper fees to teams at destinations that unload goods from a truck. Drivers are reimbursed when their fleet companies send them codes. However, the transactions at distribution centers often occur via cash or check. Plus, drivers may lose lumper receipts, causing additional hassles for everyone involved.
Fortunately, the supply chain sector is well-positioned to capitalize on automation opportunities for these time-consuming, paper-based processes. One study found that robotic process automation caused a 43% reduction in required resources for tasks associated with duties like pricing, billing and collections.
Relay Payments is a software startup seeking to automate lumper payments. Representatives believe that this approach could save truckers 20-60 minutes per stop by using the company’s automated instant payment method.
Helping Drivers Pay Safely and Quickly During Stops
Most commercial truck drivers were essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They could not stay safe in their homes, but some truck stops installed new technology to facilitate contactless digital payments.
For example, the Love’s Truck Stops brand launched an app-based option to let professional drivers pay for and receive their fuel. It also kept digital receipts and records of when the user scanned or swiped their loyalty cards. The payment technology supports popular digital wallet apps, such as Apple Pay, too.
Drivers may also make unplanned stops to get roadside assistance and vehicle servicing. A new partnership between RoadSync and FYX Fleet digitizes parts of those transactions. For example, a driver can still pay with physical methods, like cash and check. However, they receive their invoices via text message.
After receiving the payment, RoadSync interacts with the provider to speed up the overall transaction. Drivers then get the services they need, while merchants can limit slowdowns that could negatively impact their businesses.
Digital Payments Keep Trucking Workflows High
Today’s truckers inevitably must deal with aspects outside their control, whether traffic backups, road construction or inclement weather. However, these examples show how advancements in digital payments can help these professionals receive or give funds faster than before and encounter fewer obstacles along the way.
About the author
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. She has over four years experience covering stories about warehousing, logistics and distribution.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing!
Comments are closed.