Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021:
ATRI studying drivers’ employment status motivations
The American Transportation Research Institute is calling on truck drivers to provide information on what drives them to be owner-operators, independent contractors or company drivers.
The research was identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee as a top research priority in 2020.
Drivers are asked to provide input through an online data collection form that will measure what job-related factors contributed to becoming an owner-operator, independent contractor, or company driver and whether those expectations have been met.
ATRI says the research will provide valuable insight into understanding how drivers could be impacted by legislative and regulatory actions that may impact the way in which drivers are classified.
“This ATRI data collection initiative will be critical to understanding why drivers choose the type of employment they do,” said Tom Weakley, OOIDA Foundation Director of Operations and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. “The motivations behind these choices and their level of satisfaction are important for understanding what types of employment opportunities drivers are looking for and why.”
Drivers are asked to complete the survey by Friday, Sept. 17.
Variant surpasses 1,200 seated tractors in just two years
Variant, an Atlanta-based subsidiary of U.S. Xpress (CCJ Top 250, No. 15) recently surpassed 1,200 seated tractors after launching in June 2019 with five trucks. The company says it’s on track to meet or exceed 1,500 trucks by the end of the year.
Variant uses technology and analytics to improve working conditions for its drivers.
“Variant is an independent division of U.S. Xpress but tapping more than 35 years of trucking industry expertise has been an incredible growth accelerator for us,” said Cameron Ramsdell, President of Variant. “Our team is focused on building technology and solving complex network and day-of-operation challenges to make our drivers’ lives better.”
Variant’s fleet orchestration platform, Vector, is an ecosystem of interconnected algorithms and services that intake and analyze current and forecasted truck position, telematics data, drivers’ current and forecasted hours of service, shippers’ orders, and operational characteristics.
It’s also increasingly connected to live freight markets via application programming interfaces (APIs) and other middleware. This technology helps position Variant trucks strategically to satisfy demand and will also inform future order acceptance, along with each order’s relative impact on the broader network, the company says.
Vector automatically reorchestrates the Variant fleet and adapts dynamically to ever-changing events on the road, such as weather delays, mechanical issues, shipper order changes and more.
XPO’s brokerage app surpasses 500k downloads
XPO Logistics announced its XPO Connect digital freight marketplace, the Drive XPO mobile app for truck drivers, has surpassed 500,000 downloads – more than triple the cumulative downloads at this time last year.
“XPO Connect delivers major benefits to shippers and carriers throughout the brokerage process,” said Drew Wilkerson, XPO’s president of North American transportation. “The technology transforms visibility into business intelligence, becoming continually smarter at helping shippers and carriers manage loads in real time. This is the most efficient way to utilize the massive truckload capacity we offer.”