During the past year, Werner Enterprises has been working on a new enterprise-wide software platform called EDGE to take advantage of the latest technology. Portions of the new platform are being rolled out now to enhance the experience of customers, drivers and the motor carriers it does business with as a freight logistics company.
Some of the new driver solutions will run on a ruggedized Samsung Tab Active 2 tablet that connects to the fleet’s new telematics platform that Werner customized to meet its needs.
Another major area of focus is the development of a new carrier-focused platform to give third-party carriers full visibility of shipments and “provide a lot more support,” said Andy Damkroger, Werner’s associate vice president of logistics strategy.
“We are really excited about EDGE,” he said, and describes the technology as “our stake in the ground of who we want to be as a tech-focused organization.”
One part of Werner’s EDGE strategy for motor carriers is the Trucker Tools platform. Werner has deployed the Trucker Tool app and services for real-time shipment visibility, predictive freight-matching, automated booking and electronic document capture.
The engagement with Trucker Tools is part of a strategic game plan the company is executing to improve process efficiency, gain access to a deeper pool of independent truckload capacity, and position itself as the broker of choice.
“Supply chain visibility is critically important, particularly in these unprecedented times, and that visibility is enabled by being highly connected with alliance carriers,” Damkroger said.
Trucker Tools brings a set of app-based features and functions to small carriers and owner operators that are not typically available from a single 3PL, he said. “We believe the combination of Werner’s in-house capabilities with Trucker Tools provides a unique, advantageous benefit to our carrier partners and customers.”
Independent owner-operators and small fleets of 10 trucks or less represent some 90 percent of capacity in the U.S. truckload market. Reducing transactional friction with this critical capacity resource is a key plank in Werner’s EDGE strategy.
“It’s about meeting the carriers where they are, on their terms. We are a driver-centric company and intimately understand a driver’s needs – and burdens – so this is consistent with our philosophy, values and business goals,” Damkroger said.
The Trucker Tools app has been downloaded by nearly 900,000 truckers and is actively used by some 140,000 small fleets – connecting Werner with an expanded pool of available capacity.
“We have a carrier advisory board of independent operators that provides often very frank and direct feedback to us, which helps inform a lot of our decision making,” Damkroger said. “Trucker Tools is one of the platforms they advocated for.”
Prasad Gollapalli, founder and chief executive of Trucker Tools, noted that its real-time visibility platform is 100-percent GPS based and provides precise shipment location information on-demand, to a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer.