Supply Chain Expertise and Technology Blog by TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson

How a New Generation of Carrier Apps and Websites Could Redefine Industry Best Practices

How a New Generation of Carrier Apps and Websites Could Redefine Industry Best Practices.Connect

Blog_TheRoad_Navisphere Carrier

Mobile app and website technology has become an integral part of the transportation industry. Now the technology is moving to the next level with user interfaces designed specifically for helping carriers to improve performance and profitability.

The changes are much more than a routine upgrade—they are the culmination of years of operational experience as well as detailed research on how carriers use app/website features and functionality.

Common causes

Extensive research on how carriers use online technologies to connect with freight markets and run their businesses was carried out as part of a project to redesign CHRWTrucks® into the recently launched Navisphere Carrier® website and a new mobile app.

The new name refers to Navisphere®, which is TMC’s global technology platform that provides shippers with visibility to all transportation activities in one online interface.

The research looked at the information needs of carriers, and how these needs can be incorporated in the tools we provide carriers. For example, in today’s fast-paced freight market users have little time to learn about new functionality; they want to assimilate the required information quickly without having to plow through training manuals. In addition, technology platforms must provide easy access to the right information at the right time. Meeting these demands requires user interfaces that are navigated intuitively, and deliver all relevant information in a concise, easy-to-digest format.

Building efficiency

Here are some specific ways in which improved information systems enable carriers to perform and compete more effectively.

Decision support. Improvements in the way data is structured and presented support better decision making. Information is carefully targeted to meet each carrier’s needs, and they do not have to switch between screens multiple times to retrieve the information they’re looking for. Of particular importance is sorting information according to the user’s priorities.

Streamline documentation. Carriers must complete and submit certain documentation to shippers or intermediaries before getting paid. Allowing them to submit paperwork through electronic tools and upload the details to payers, cuts delays and improves cash flow – a big win, especially for small companies.

Untethered from the office. App and web site technology that provides a platform for managing their businesses on the fly releases carriers to do productive work such as visiting customers. For example, with the Navisphere Carrier app’s GPS positioning, once a carrier accepts a tender via the website, they can assign a driver to the load and the app can manage tracking and status updates, providing a free alternative to EDI to provide those capabilities. And for mid to small carriers, it alleviates the need to log-in to the website and manually enter status updates.

Capabilities like these are sure to increase in number as well as scope as systems such as the new Navisphere Carrier site evolve. And the technology’s adoption rates in the transportation industry are also likely to climb as new, user-oriented apps and websites improve carrier efficiency.

Click here more information on how the new Navisphere Carrier app adds increased efficiency and functionality for customers and contract carriers.