On-demand apps offer people a wide array of services that are available with a quick tap of a smartphone button. In an instant, consumers can order a taxi to take them home, have groceries delivered, and find a babysitter to watch the kids. Additionally, there are several new driver-on-demand apps that allow companies to quickly hire third-party commercial drivers to deliver goods. These apps are creating competition for the trucking industry and causing concern about the safety of these for-hire drivers.
Traditional Brokers Vs. Driver-on-Demand Apps
Manufacturers and trucking companies have long relied on brokers to connect them with third-party drivers who can ship goods and deliver them to the intended destination when core carriers are unavailable. However, because most traditional brokers conduct their business via telephone, it can take several hours to match a company to a suitable driver, and brokers often impose a hefty fee of up to 20 percent for their services.
The new driver-on-demand trucking apps have changed that familiar brokerage model in the following ways:
- They use the Internet to connect companies and drivers in just minutes, compared to the several-hour waiting period considered standard for traditional brokers.
- They simplify the entire process.
- They allow companies to enter information about what they need into a website and receive an instant quote.
- They track shipments in real time.
The benefits of driver-on-demand trucking apps are clear, but some believe these apps can promote dangers on the road.
The Potential Dangers of Using Third-Party Drivers
With commercial trucks involved in hundreds of serious accidents each year, opponents of the emerging driver-on-demand trucking apps suggest that adding more third-party drivers to the road could be dangerous. Opponents worry that the vetting process used by startup companies pushing driver-on-demand apps may not be as strenuous and comprehensive as those used by traditional brokerages. It's also unclear how such startups will handle compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) measures such as driver and carrier safety ratings.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident?
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