LOS ANGELES, CA – Things are looking up for the trucking industry. The American Trucking Associations anticipates that U.S. companies will bring on nearly 100,000 new drivers each year, for the next 10 years. However, the boom in business is not without challenges. The industry is plagued by government regulation, demanding customers, critical driver shortages and increased economic pressure. In response, truckers are increasingly leveraging mobile communications technologies to get ahead.
Mobile phones and tablet computers are becoming staples for truckers on the road. In fact, according to a recent survey, 57 percent of truckers use their phones more for daily business this year than they did last year. Mobile devices and industry specific apps help improve safety and reduce costs. In addition, technology helps drivers stay connected to family and friends during the long periods they spend away from home.
Rose Shuttleworth of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taiko Trucking, Inc. says eVoice is vital for daily communication with her trucking fleet in Canada. “With eVoice, our truckers can simply dial one central toll-free number to reach dispatch, accounting, or recruiting departments. The second a delivery is confirmed, our team uses eFax to send signed confirmation to our offices, ensuring a more efficient tracking and payment process.”
eFax, an online fax service and eVoice, a virtual phone service—both brands of j2 Global, Inc. — understand that trucking professionals need tools that help them manage the demands of their jobs without compromising their safety on the road.
To manage communications on the go, here are five tips from eVoice and eFax:
- Eliminate distracted driving – Federal regulations aim to keep drivers safe. A virtual phone system allows you to manage calls from customers and vendors without diverting attention from the road. Take advantage of automated features such as personalized greetings, voicemail, call routing, and call screening to maintain your professional image while remaining safe.
- Use your mobile phone camera for on time delivery – With mobile fax apps there is no need to find a traditional fax machine at a truck stop or local store.Just point, shoot and fax using a mobile fax app to send important paperwork without leaving the cab. Read incoming faxes right on your phone as well without detouring from your schedule.
- Stay on course with call recording – Answering calls while on the road makes it difficult to track important details from customers, shippers or dispatch. Record calls to capture directions, route changes or detailed instructions. With the push of a button, virtual phone systems record calls to get the details right the first time, avoiding errors or potentially costly miscommunication with customers or vendors.
- Avoid phone bill potholes with mobile apps – With limits on most phone and data plans, staying connectedcan lead to mobile phone bill shock. A virtual phone system with a VoIP app can transfer calls from your network carrier to the Internet whenever WiFi is available, drastically reducing the number of minutes used in every billing cycle and keeping mobile costs at a minimum.
- Over the road and through the cloud – A digital fax service makes it easy to manage important documents and access them from anywhere. Set up your own folders in the cloud for storing documents or simply search to find a specific document or group of documents. Tag receipts, invoices and load slips with keywords to make them easier to group or find later. And, with an online fax service that offers lifetime storage, you can easily refer back to these documents anytime for expense reimbursement, compliance or tax time.
American Trucking Associations November 2012 Truck Driver Shortage Update: http://www.truckline.com/StateIndustry/Documents/Driver%20Shortage%20Update%20November%202012.pdf
A survey of 6,000 active transporters on uShip was conducted in August 2011 and reflects respondents’ mobile usage patterns, dependencies and preferences: http://blog.uship.com/Freight_Flow_Index/uShip_Survey_2011.pdf