Truck drivers form the backbone of the US supply chain. In fact, over 70% of all goods shipped in the US travel by truck. Yet there is a massive shortage of drivers — the American Trucking Association estimates a shortage of drivers to the tune of 80,000 today — that’s only set to get worse, setting up a ticking time bomb for the US economy as a whole. The vast majority of truckers in the US are owner-operators, and the job involves long hours behind the wheel, many days out of town, and challenges with making ends meet, given that drivers don’t have health care and have to pay for their own fuel and maintenance.
For these drivers, the single biggest determinant of their quality of life is the “load” they choose to book. The specific load determines where they travel, the amount they get paid, the likelihood they can book a load on the return trip, and timing on when they get paid. Yet the process of finding and picking a load is largely still a very opaque process, where drivers are able to only see a small subset of available loads through analog load boards or through phone calls from local brokers. This opacity puts the drivers at a disadvantage relative to the broker and shippers.
TruckSmarter: The One-Stop Solution for Drivers
Enter TruckSmarter, which provides drivers with a no-fee electronic load board, with loads from hundreds of brokers displayed in a simple mobile interface allowing drivers to quickly find the optimal load. Drivers who have signed up with TruckSmarter book the vast majority of their loads through the platform and for the brokers whose loads are being displayed, they get access to a larger pool of drivers. Access to more loads and better loads improve the quality of life of our drivers by allowing them to manage their travel and optimize the amount they are getting paid.
But finding and booking the load is just the start. With TruckSmarter, drivers can also get access to simple 1.5% month-to-month factoring to provide low-cost access to cash more quickly, to help pay for fuel and other bills. Soon, TruckSmarter will be adding no-fee bank accounts and debit cards as well.
Visionary Founders Helping Millions of Small Business Owners
We have had a long history of backing domain experts in the logistics and supply chain space: Mick Mountz at Kiva, Matt Elenjickal at FourKites, and Dhruv and Divey at ShipBob. Now, we are thrilled to be backing TruckSmarter founders Dan Kao and Paolo Bernasconi, adding TruckSmarter to our family of supply chain companies. Dan brings logistics expertise from DoorDash and UberFreight, while Paolo understands embedded fintech from his time at Plaid. They are visionary founders with a real focus on improving the lives of drivers and are already adding immense value to the entire logistics ecosystem, including brokers and shippers.
We at BCV believe the next phase of cloud software is about empowering small business owners – whether these are mom-and-pop retailers served by Homebase or independent auto repair shops being served by AutoLeap. There are 2 million over-the-road truck drivers in the US. These men and women are small business owners and are the foundation for how our economy works. With TruckSmarter, these millions of drivers can more easily find and book loads, get paid faster, and more cost effectively manage their funds – all of which improves their working conditions.
This is the power of software and the vision for TruckSmarter and we are excited to partner with Dan and Paolo to make it happen!
BCV Principal Zeeza Cole and Headline Investor Taylor Brandt wrote this article in collaboration. You can follow them on Twitter here and here to keep up with their thoughts on the venture landscape, the future of work, vertical SaaS and more. Why Today’s Climate is the Perfect Time for Vertical SaaS to Shine Industry-specific software – known as Vertical SaaS – has…
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