The cargo is out there, the trucks are too, yet, given that driverless-trucks are still in their infancy and light-years away, one major problem often faced by fleet owners – and possibly exacerbated by the current pandemic – is having enough qualified drivers available. Continental’s Fleetmatch.app has addressed this problem in a similar way to the host of dating apps out there. Instead of “swipe right for love”, the option here is to “swipe right for routes.”
“Heroes are hard to find” is the title of a 1974 Fleetwood Mac album… And that is the problem that Hanover-based ContiTech and its Hamburg-based Continental mother company took to solve
with their similar-sounding “Fleetmatch” app back in SEP18, already. It was then launched 16 months ago, in the summer of 2019.
Almost 3.3 million trucks are registered in Germany, and yet the country lacks around 40,000 professional, qualified drivers, leaving a good portion of the fleet idle. “This shortfall has a particularly negative impact on major logistics locations such as Hamburg,” the recent Continental press release states, citing the region that numbers over 2,000 road-feeder transport companies and that is a strong app user, though the Rhine-Main conurbation and the Ruhr region have also been large app downloaders. Fleet that is not moving is neither making money, nor able to fulfill customer requirements.
"Prove Your Love" (Fleetwood Mac)
“Fleetmatch makes fleets more effective and truck drivers happier” is the title of the 18NOV20 press release and underlines a core focus point unaddressed until now: the thankless aspects of the job of being a driver, along with a lack of respect for those carrying out that job.
Fleetmatch Marketing & Sales project manager, Roger Bunzel, emphasizes “The lack of appreciation is a major deficiency in this industry plagued by time pressure. It must be absolutely frustrating for any driver who, after successfully detouring around a traffic jam, ends up having to wait forever for a free loading dock.”
The aim is both to increase respect and tolerance towards professional drivers (as underlined on the active Fleetmatch Facebook page), and to help companies improve their processes.
"Come a Little Bit Closer” (Fleetwood Mac)
“We get professional drivers behind the wheel of the right trucks in the shortest time possible by matching up the expectations of drivers and fleets,” Roger Bunzel says. The app is free of charge for all professional drivers, since those paying use-fees are the fleet owners.
Drivers create their profile, listing their specific qualifications, and can then browse job ads matching their profile. If they like what they see, they swipe right to transmit their application to the fleet manager.
On the other hand, fleet managers who have paid to unlock those driver profiles marked as available for jobs, can carry out targeted searches for possible matches using the web-based solution if they prefer.
Either way, “it only takes a few minutes for fleet managers to place their company profile and job advertisements online on the website,” and that goes for the driver profile, too.
Potential drivers can easily control their availability in the app.
"She's Changing Me" (Fleetwood Mac)
While the app acts as an initial job-matching portal, a further, growing function, is the possibility to rate how it was to work with a certain company. From the convenience of their smartphone, drivers can quickly rate their experiences at the loading docks and bays. They can anonymously assign up to five “stars based on three criteria: Was I treated with respect? How were the loading/unloading conditions? Was the waiting time reasonable?” A function that has seen much use since it went live: “Several thousand loading dock ratings have meanwhile been received, along with many positive responses from drivers, fleet managers, and industry associations and experts. Hotspots reflect the real, actual economic and infrastructural conditions on site”, the release informs.
“Thanks to these loading dock ratings, Fleetmatch gives drivers a strong voice and sends a clear signal calling for greater appreciation of this essential occupation,” Bunzel notes.
"Safe Harbor" (Fleetwood Mac)
Roger Bunzel summarizes: “Fleetmatch helps to increase the efficiency of the entire fleet and improves driver motivation and satisfaction. It also enhances road safety when well-trained professional drivers are moving the loads from A to B,” and points to further function developments in the app: "It's not a question of whether we'll continue to develop the system, but rather of what our next steps will be."
CFG is waiting to hear whether the app will also be available in different languages and countries.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.