Carriers look to technology to survive significant logistics disruption

January 14, 2021

During the most challenged months in early 2020, when COVID stay-at-home orders across the country constrained trucking operations and organizations throughout the supply chain were scrambling to figure out how to best work in a remote environment, smaller trucking firms felt the brunt of the pressure. Soon, domestic demand shifted to essential-goods freight, and larger carriers were better positioned to adapt to the change in freight flows. Smaller firms were still left trying to adapt quickly without the tools necessary to make the change.   

In early January, FreightWaves looked into the raft of closures and bankruptcies from small trucking companies brought on by the coronavirus pandemic – according to the American Trucking Associations, only 3 percent of U.S. trucking companies boast fleets of more than 20 trucks, making the majority of the truckers crisscrossing the U.S. part of a small operation. FreightWaves pointed to a lack of resources and scalable technology as primary culprits.   

“As the demand for essential goods skyrocketed throughout March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, larger trucking companies were able to pivot faster than smaller fleets that didn’t have the necessary equipment, finances or drivers to haul critical medical and food supplies. Owners who didn’t adjust their business models — or didn’t react quickly didn’t survive,” FreightWaves reported. 

The article pointed to smaller carriers like Beaver Express Services and Stone Trucking Company as examples of the virus fallout; those two companies were forced to close due to a significant drop in oil demand. These were both mid-sized trucking companies in the eyes of the ATA. Stress from the coronavirus pandemic and the overall shifts in the market that resulted from the shutdowns affected companies large and small, but the larger firms were able to deal with the challenges without going under. FreightWaves also pointed out that small trucking firms are among the last businesses to recoup their expenses their oil industry customers file for bankruptcy protection.   

The coronavirus pandemic has sped up the adoption of technology throughout the supply chain, and trucking firms large and small are seeing how additional logistics technology solutions can help them weather freight transportation disruptions. While technology alone couldn’t have protected every small trucking company, tools that connect small carriers to a significant network of shippers and 3PLs could possibly have eased the pain.  

The Blume CarrierGo platform and driver mobile app create touchless operational efficiency, along with better fleet utilization and freight queuing. CarrierGo Premium connects to Blume Global’s extensive network, frequently leading to new business for carriers. Plus, the solution allows scalability, so carriers can add features as they grow.  

Based on a single digital platform, Blume CarrierGo Premium is the solution that permits carriers and their drivers to effectively manage end-to-end business operations. The solution provides a positive financial impact for carriers by directly connecting the proof-of-delivery, invoicing and financial-settlement processes, giving smaller carriers access to the technology large competitors utilize every day. Carriers have also used CarrierGo during the pandemic to keep their drivers safe by providing an efficient, remote environment and reducing touch points.  

The trucking industry’s strain in capacity due to change in customer demand is nothing new, but the sustained shift brought by the pandemic proved that every trucking company, no matter how small, needs technology solutions to help protect against unforseen circumstances. Without the latest technology, small to medium sized trucking companies are particularly vulnerable to increasing costs and loss of business. With Blume CarrierGo, smaller companies can access new customers on the Blume Network, seamlessly manage rates to bid on the right business, and improve visibility across global supply chains.