The increasing complexity of road transport and the systems around it does not have to be so complicated, especially, when you have a small footprint solution, which is as straight and simple as an Arrow Logistics application, on your phone. Diesel met Arrow’s founder, Ian Forster.
Computerisation and its development over the last 30 years has made it seem that the world is growing ever more complex and sophisticated. However, now we seem to have reached a point where the smart use of complex technology can help those in the trucking industry return to a more simple life.
This is certainly the case with a phone app that Diesel came across recently. The whole idea sounded too good to be true, but Diesel followed it through and found development of, what can be, very complex systems, which are making life a lot easier for small trucking operators and owner drivers.
The small to medium sector of the trucking industry is probably the one which finds the increasing complexity of compliance and business systems most onerous. It is okay for the larger trucking operators to have a department in the business which deals purely with the technology involved in running the business.
For the small operator, there is not enough activity in the business to justify a specialist in this area. This is where some smart thinkers in the trucking game in Australia are starting to come to the fore, with smart ideas which are designed to make the small operator’s life just a little easier, straight and simple as an Arrow.
Arrow Logistics uses a simple platform able to be accessed on a mobile phone which keeps all of the people involved in bulk grain supply chain informed about what loads are available to be transported, what trucks are available to do that load and where the product has to be delivered.
It also enables everybody involved to keep track on exactly what is happening with their product, or their trucks, or their deliveries. One of the most important aspects of the system is its transparency, but also the way it is tailored so that the person accessing it is getting the information they need to have on hand.
At the moment, Arrow still get phone calls from grain traders – many still rely on the traditional method of phoning up and telling Arrow about their particular job, not quite so straight and simple as an Arrow. Often, people working in the rural community tend to prefer that social contact, However, the platform does have the functionality for them to enter any work they have an offer, into the system.
The details of a particular load are entered into the system with the date and the time included. At the same time, the trucks which have the app are able to share their location with the platform.
If the truck driver has enabled the location sharing on their app, when a load is entered into the system and if they are within 500km of the location, they will get a notification about the fact that a new load has just appeared on the system.
“We have an Uber-type scenario with a map showing all the truck locations,” says Ian. “If a job comes in, say in Moree, we can look and see all of the trucks in a 100km radius and we can phone those trucks first.”
At the moment, there are about 20 trucks which are working for Arrow Logistics all of the time and then there are much larger number of operators, between 100 and 200, which do work for other operators, but will regularly take up work from Arrow. Between 80 and 90 per cent of all those trucks involved have the app on their phones in the truck.