uShip survey shows increased mobile use by drivers

user-gravatar, a global online transport marketplace, released the results of its third annual mobile usage survey, giving insights into how over-the-road truck drivers are using their mobile phones, apps and other wireless devices for business.  In addition to showing increased mobile dependence, the survey shows significant shifts in use of smartphone GPS navigation over traditional GPS units and a greater appetite for social media and apps via mobile. 

uShip Mobile Survey Insights Summary

  • 7 in 10 are conducting more business via mobile devices than ever before (2011:  6 in 10)
  • Nearly twice as many US truck drivers use Android phones over iPhones; 1 in 4 uses a basic feature phone
  • More than half of drivers say their phone already has or could replace their GPS device on the road
  • Over half of all drivers say the 2012 texting ban has not changed their behavior on the road
  • Text messaging (79%), Internet/email (65%) and camera (55%) rank as the most popular features
  • 26% now use their mobile device for social media, up from 13% in 2011 and 19% in 2010
  • 43% now use apps, a jump of 16% over 2011 and 10% over 2010
  • Nearly 1 in 2 (47%) are now more likely to buy a tablet for business, up from 1 in 4 (26%) in 2011

Smartphone Navigation vs. GPS Navigation

Data suggests there’s a growing trend towards using a single device on the road – for business, navigation, entertainment and communication – ultimately putting smartphone GPS navigation and on-the-dash GPS units at a crossroads:

  • Over half of drivers say their mobile phone’s GPS has “already have replaced” or “could replace” their GPS unit
  • 53% use their mobile phone’s GPS feature more than (36%) or equal to (17%) their traditional GPS device
  • 47% say they’ll “never” give up their GPS device
  • 52% now use their mobile phone’s GPS feature — up 24%  from 2011 and 22% from 2010 

“The 2012 uShip Mobile Usage Survey surprisingly shows smartphone and GPS devices on a bit of a collision course, especially as mobile phones expand their feature versatility, especially with apps and social media,” said Eddie Peloke, vice president for mobile, uShip.  “Study findings also coincide with uShip mobile app trends, which has seen 3000 percent  increase in downloads – in the hundreds of thousands — over the past year alone.”

Along with the uShip app for iPhone and Android smartphones, uShip offers a mobile uShip website ( that can be accessed from “regular” cell phones, representing about 1 in 4 transporters.  uShip also offers Phone & Text Alerts, as well as uShip Tracking that allows carriers to post Facebook-like status and location updates so that customers can check the status of their deliveries.

Started in 2010, uShip’s mobile study tracks year-over-year mobile trends – not just a single point in time – of a cross-section of active transporters on uShip, ranging from commercial carriers to small fleet owner-operators to hot-shot drivers.  Over 26,000 drivers were surveyed between Oct. 17-30, 2012.