Responsive Web Design📱🖥
FR8Star is a platform that connects shippers who have oversize or overweight cargo with carriers who can haul that cargo. Within the last 8 months we've redesigned all of the major flows and created multiple new large features.
Load Scanner allows carriers to have a personalized load board where they can specify their equipment, favorite lanes, their current availabilities and upcoming trips. It was mainly made to decrease the ammount of empty backhaul trips that carriers often have to take when they are coming back home. Also, carriers can use it as a main tool in their load searching. Before Load Scanner we had a simple search for carriers where they could filter loads by location, equipment and deadhead - amount of miles you have to go empty to pick up a load from your current location.
Prior building Load Scanner we had a chance to visit California Trucking Show aka CATS 2017 that took place in Ontario,CA. It was gret to talk to carriers and their families, get their perspectives on the industry, and hear some feedback about FR8Star. We also visited one of our carrier onsite and talked with the employees about the way they are doing their workF.
According to our survey results a carrier spends 4 hours per day on average looking for loads. In our research we discovered that most of the carriers were tired of traditional load boards and auctions. Calling their network for jobs is also very time consuming. From another side there is pressure about coming back from a long haul empty and loosing money. Dispatchers and fleet operators have to be very much on point about providing their truck drivers with good quality loads and backhauls.
Carriers switch between crazy amount of gadgets and tools - fax, phone, email, spreadsheets, several load board websites, their notebook and tons of papers with schedules and locations of their drivers.
After our research I started to work on load notifications for carriers. We knew we need to somehow tie them together with relevant loads, so we don't spam carriers with loads they never going to take. We didn't have the information about carrier's preferences and nothing about their fleet. We didn't have an app to be able to know driver's locations to provide them with relevant backhauls.
In order to address all the mentioned issues, I was thinking about a place where carriers could posibly return all the time and have a quick access to all relevant loads that might be working for their drivers and their fleet. Something that is going to be opened on the background of their desktop all the time. Something that is going to know their upcoming trips, their fleet info, their driver's status, their favorite locations and their home state. Also, it should be responsive so small fleet owners (who usually also drive their own truck) could access it on their mobile phones.
So that's how the idea of Load Scanner was born. When a carrier decides to register with us, we ask him more specific questions about their preferences, favorite lanes, their current available trucks and their locations. After registration you land on a customized board, that gives you a quick access to best matching loads that are most likely going to be a perfect match for you. You can manage your notifications from here and receive them only about lanes and trailers relevant at the moment. We needed to update carrier registration and launch Load Scanner at the same time, because we needed to collect info about their favorite lanes, trailers that they own, their home states and their upcoming availability.
Everyone was excited about it. I talked to carriers I met at CATS and explained them the concept on a low fidelity stage and I received a very positive response from them. Our backend engineers were excited to start developing a smart matching algorithm. Our leadership thought that this is a game changer. And it was.
After launching Load Scanner we saw a 200% increase in bids within first 2 weeks. Our email open rates and carrier retention grew up significantly.
There are a lot of things that can be done with the Load Scanner that can improve users' experience. E.g. we didn't launch a possibility to divide the board by drivers, we didn’t ask for a home state and we don’t know important specifics about their open deck trailers. Also, after launching a driver's app it would be much easier to make it better when we know driver’s exact location.