by Ashley Wilks
Factoring Solutions and Fuel Management Programs on the Rise
Technology is responsible for disrupting almost every industry in the world and while disruption might sound like a bad thing, the trends prove otherwise. Recently the world cheered as Elon Musk and team launched a 230-foot-tall Falcon Heavy into space. The most powerful US rocket since the 1970s, the Falcon Heavy launch was not without particular fanfare as it included Musk’s 2008 Tesla Roadster, representing how the rocket could one day be carrying people into space. Clearly, the enthusiasm around this particular launch shows how willing people around the world are to embrace technology as positive force for the future. The potential of planetary travel is disruption in the most significant way, but people are seeing the viability, and trust the technology to make it a reality. However, the vision did not happen overnight. It took a long time to get there with baby steps along the way. By adopting new technology, the trucking industry is on board and embracing the advantages it offers every day in tools like mobile apps and fuel cards, to factoring solutions and virtual AR.
Fleets are Getting Smarter Through Their Phones
The evolution of hand held devices and smart phones have been responsible for making the lives of truckers a little less challenging and a whole lot more efficient. Fleet and fuel cards are just the beginning when it come to tools are opening up a new world of possibilities for long haul truck drivers and fleet managers alike. Early adoption of the tools that technology brings means efficiencies and ease in the way we handle business both internally and externally. Flexible fleet solutions that enable business to be more productive and profitable are on the rise, and the trends are pointing to robust fuel card discounts, gadgets and mobile apps.
A recent study asked over 6,000 truck drivers if and how they used mobile apps. The results might be surprising.
- 57 percent use their cell phones to keep track of daily business
- 37 percent use mobile apps to acquire and schedule loads
- 33 percent used trucker apps for weather, fuel prices, and traffic conditions
- 20 percent use their mobile apps to stay connected with family and friends
- 20 percent said because of mobile apps they no longer need to carry laptops on their trucks
These 5 mobile apps may not be exclusive to the trucking industry, but they are critical in making the job of a truck driver easier.
1. NOAA Weather Radio: Allows truckers to view current and “feels like” temperatures, humidity information, rain chances, wind speed and direction. Not only does NOAA provide current weather conditions, but truckers can receive notifications sent straight to their Android or iPhone when bad weather is approaching in their current location. Having a weather radio is a useful app for truckers who want to know how safe it is to travel between load destinations.
2. The Weather Channel app: Stay informed before driving into dangerous weather. Truckers can access real time conditions and future conditions (hourly, 15-day, and weekend weather forecasts). Truckers can set up personalized weather notifications for lightning, rain, pollen and breaking news alerts. Available on Android and iTunes
3. Waze: Waze is a GPS way finding app but because it is also a social community app, truckers can help each other save time on their commute or share updates on fuel prices, law enforcement positions, and traffic conditions. With Waze, truckers can interact and chat about anything they may want or need to know. Available on Android and iTunes
4. The Truck Stops GPS – Road Hunter: Helps truckers search and plan their next fuel stop including fuel prices, restaurants and parking. Truck Stops, GPS – Road Hunter doesn’t just keep track of truck stops, truckers can also use this app to track weigh stations and severe weather. Available on Android and iTunes
5. iExit: This app uses the GPS location tracker built into the smartphone to alert you when the next exit is coming up. It also identifies parking, WIFI, hotels and restaurants available at each exit. Available on Android and iTunes
Mobile device apps can also provide fuel card discounts as well as discounts on hotel and food. But it is not just the apps that are being used to address trucking needs. Mobile phones can be used as payment devices in conjunction with factoring solutions as well as fuel management. As one of the most significant variable costs in the trucking industry, fuel has become a focus for fleet managers and B2B support. WEX FleetOne provides an entire program for fuel management which includes even more than fuel cards and fuel card discounts. WEX Fuel Management is a suite of web-based applications designed exclusively for customers wherever they are in the fuel supply chain. These tailored offerings address industry-specific needs to help companies optimize fuel purchases and processes, while adapt quickly to changing market demands.
Whether you’re looking to reduce inventory carrying costs, lower overall fuel and transportation costs, improve your fuel margins, or manage deliveries more efficiently, WEX Fuel Management Solutions (formerly known as Telapoint) can help transform and grow business.
WEX bulk fuel and retail fuel management solutions are flexible enough to optimize fuel operations on-site or from your desktop. Professional fuel advisors will help make your fuel purchases more efficient while increasing your bottom line.
These new technologies and systems are doing much more than just eliminating repetitive tasks. They are supporting both drivers and business leaders in managing the everyday challenges of trucking, and the reality is that the industry is not only embracing the new technology, they are expecting more.