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How owner-operators can benefit from Facility Insights

How owner-operators can benefit from Facility Insights


I always thought the time and energy spent load planning could drastically decrease if drivers had more information upfront. With Facility Insights, we finally will. Let me give you an example.

Say you’ve picked up a load of cardboard, and the shipper is the broker’s customer. You get loaded in an hour, no problem. Yet you were never informed that the consignee is not the broker’s customer. They have a relationship with the shipper – and you’ve just been informed the consignee no longer has room for your shipment.

Solving this problem results in a hefty amount of detention, which the broker has to ask the customer to provide. The broker doesn’t want to cause discontent with the customer, so who takes on the brunt of the time/money wasted?

You guessed it — the driver.

Drivers on the hook for the cost of detention

After 13 years in trucking, with the past nine years owner-op on the spot market working entirely with brokers, I know that wait times at a facility are often an unknown factor.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat an extra three hours at a distribution center. On the flip side, I enjoy picking up auto parts since the load times at their locations are consistent, and I know what I’m getting myself into. Figuring out how much wait time is involved at any given facility has simply been chalked up as the cost of doing business.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if another constant in this industry — the cost of driver detention — hadn’t gone unchanged for the past 25 years. You already know the equation: two hours free and $50 an hour after that.

When I think about what I was getting paid per hour to wait at all those facilities, it almost keeps me up at night. If you’re like me (and countless other drivers), this story is far too common.

Facility Insights, which is the latest feature offered by KeepTruckin, changed the way I make decisions about the shippers and consignees I work with.

Facility Insights sheds light on expected wait times

Nine years ago, we only had credit scores for brokers and word of mouth tips on which facilities would treat you right. Since then, there have been advancements like broker reviews on various websites and Google Reviews. However, drivers deserve to be equipped with the maximum amount of site information on every haul.

I understand there are detention situations that no one could possibly have planned for. Maybe a storm shuts down a whole town or someone backs into the sole loading or unloading dock.

But we’re not talking about extenuating circumstances here. We’re referring to the everyday patterns of facilities all across the country. I’d appreciate knowing a consistent wait time over a complete unknown, any day.

Facility Insights gives carriers unprecedented insight into the patterns of these facilities, so they can proactively make choices that reduce dwell time and protect their profit margin.

Facility Insights key features

  • Estimated dwell times Anyone plugged into the Facility Insights network will be able to view expected dwell times for a growing list of locations based on real-life input from drivers just like yourself.
  • Fleet visit history Access a log every time your truck(s) visited a specific facility. This can be useful in situations where you have to request detention payout. It is also useful to understand your overall relationship with a given shipper or consignee.

Facility Insights - Average Dwell Time

Driver-first focus

In addition to the incredible value Facility Insights already offers, here’s a look at what’s to come:

  • Ratings and reviews Personal testimony about your experience at a particular facility, including who helped you and what impressed you. This information will provide intimate details to continue to build trust and respect between you and your customers.
  • Site amenities  The app will soon include a list of amenities (showers, food options, overnight parking, and so on) available at each facility to better inform your decision-making process from end to end.

KeepTruckin believes that drivers are the most valuable asset to the trucking industry. Everyone wants to run a high-performing business. The need for drivers to stay informed has never been greater.

To sum it up

Facility Insights was designed with the goal of optimizing drop-off and pick up times in order to minimize the cost of detention and delays. It gives fleets direct access to the knowledge they need to build sustainable, profitable relationships with customers and brokers.

I’m excited about the future of trucking, and I hope you will join us in changing the cost of doing business to one that works better for us all.

Learn more about Facility Insights here or call KeepTruckin at 844-325-9430.

Until then, drive safely and KeepTruckin!

– Chad


Opt-out disclosure:

Any carrier that does not want to have their data included in Facility Insights can easily opt out by sending an email to their dedicated Customer Success Manager or by contacting support@keeptruckin.com.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by KeepTruckin to write this blog post. However, all opinions and views expressed are my own.

Author


Chad Boblett

Chad Boblett is an accomplished owner-operator with over a decade in the trucking industry. His Facebook group, Rate Per Mile Masters, helps other owner-operators earn more money with each load. Chad lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife and two daughters.