Bridge the Gap Between Drayage Truck Drivers and Dispatchers

drayage truck driver looking at phone outside of truck with container and dispatcher in office typing

How a mobile app can keep drivers happy and improves profitability and cashflow for your drayage trucking business

In today’s highly competitive freight market, drayage companies are competing for both freight loads and the drivers needed to carry it. With freight volumes showing signs of increasing, drivers remain in short supply. Retention is also a concern, with over 60% of drivers leaving a company before the end of their second year and 30% of them departing before the end of their first. To win business, intermodal trucking carriers need to operate as lean and efficient as possible. They need to pick up and deliver loads on time with transparency to maintain customer relationships. To attract and retain drivers, operations should be as driver friendly as possible.

The constant communications between dispatchers and drivers are a steady source of frustration for both. As a result, many carriers are forced to maintain a high ratio of dispatchers to drivers that increases the effort and cost for each move, which raises operational costs. Poor communication between dispatch and drivers can lead to a wasted day when a driver is turned away because of a missed or incorrect appointment. In addition, a driver needing to bring in shipment paperwork to the office is a significant, often un-paid, time commitment. It can also delay invoicing which can mean a delay for both the driver and the carrier getting paid.

As drivers become more tech savvy, over 95% of truck drivers have a smart phone, more drayage companies are turning to mobile driver apps to streamline the dispatch to driver communications that are mission critical for scheduling and completing every freight move, as well as, meeting high customer expectations for timing and traceability. They are leveraging the technology to increase shipment efficiency, improve in-transit visibility, speed up documentation, and expedite invoicing.

Two real-world examples of drayage carriers that use a driver mobile app

Small intermodal carrier using Profit Tools TMS: Twenty owner-operator drivers on a mobile app and currently completing nearly 750 mostly intermodal moves per month. With the app, dispatchers were able to reduce the number of calls to and from drivers, and drivers no longer had to check in at the office for delivery instructions – they can just pick-up and go.

Mid-sized carrier using Compcare VI: Operating in multiple terminals with over 3/4 of their 80+ owner operators using a mobile driver app to complete more than 4,000 shuttle moves per month. They have reduced manual work, and daily server uploads that require additional sorting. Now they have greater visibility on order completion, documentation upload is easier, and time-to-invoice is 80% faster.

How intermodal carriers are bridging the gap between dispatchers and drivers

Key processes of the shipment are executed with simplified, guided workflows that prompt drivers for their input. These include scheduling, load status updates, POD generation, and document capture. The workflows standardize operations with consistent steps for every move and ensure the collection of required information at each stage. Much of this communication and coordination would have been performed with manual, printed documents, and back-and-forth phone conversations. Office visits for document drop off to complete a delivery are eliminated.

All driver communication and documentation are done in the same place. When integrated to the company drayage TMS, all information is “pushed” to a single source of truth for the shipment where it can be accessed by dispatch to determine load status, by operations to respond to customer service requests, and by business leadership to maintain a pulse on daily shipment performance.

Because these driver activities are all performed without manual typing and keying, phone calls, and paperwork gathering, they are less prone to human errors and more time efficient. Drivers spend more time moving goods and less time going back and forth with dispatch – alleviating a constant source of frustration for both.

Improve driver and dispatch job satisfaction and intermodal trucking operations

Our own internal surveying of users of our mobile driver app shows that around 2/3rd of drivers say it helps them do their job more effectively. According to one of the drivers surveyed, “This is how the job wants me to conduct my duties. When the app is working great. I’m having a great day and so is the job.” Another driver added “I love the paperless approach. Helps me do my job more efficient(ly).” More effective and efficient drivers are happier drivers. Happier drivers are less likely to move to another trucking company. A positive driver experience also makes is easier to attract drivers.

In addition, more efficient and effective coordination between dispatch and driver means dispatchers can better manage more drivers and shipments, allowing intermodal carriers to reduce overhead or scale business without adding operational resources.

Finally, shipments are made on time with better visibility, improving customer satisfaction with faster invoicing and quicker payment processing. This means carriers can keep the customers they do win and maintain healthier margins, stronger cash flow, and better bottom lines.

Envase Mobile has several features that improve dispatcher to driver communications and shipment documentation. These include: 

  • Standardized workflows for the most common processes of a shipment that use step-by-step actions and simple prompts for driver input.
  • In-app messaging that eliminates the need to go outside of the app to handle exceptions and stores all communications with the shipment for better auditing. 
  • Digital documentation management for black & white and color documents, with low bandwidth support.
  • Geo-fencing can trigger pickup and departure milestones with only driver confirmation.
  • Finally, it connects seamlessly with Compare VI, Profit Tools, and GTG TMS, with more on the way for integrating transportation management with driver management.

For a consultation on how Envase Mobile can work with your TMS, please email

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