The Haul Now app was developed with features to improve visibility of available loads, provide service center details, document retrieval and more. - Photo: Roadrunner Transportation Systems

The Haul Now app was developed with features to improve visibility of available loads, provide service center details, document retrieval and more.

Photo: Roadrunner Transportation Systems

Keeping track of your fleet can be further complicated when enlisting independent contractors as drivers. Roadrunner Freight, a business unit of Roadrunner Transportation Systems, decided to come up with its own solution — the Haul Now app.

“Our team is focused on promoting a positive driver experience and wanted to develop a mobile application to help improve communication with independent contractors,” says Frank Hurst, president of Roadrunner Freight. “After several rounds of communication with team members and ICs, Haul Now was developed with features to improve visibility of available loads, provide service center details, document retrieval and more.”

The Haul Now app was designed to be a “one-stop shop” for independent contractors. It opens to a home screen that provides access to five different areas:

  • Contact information and maps to the company’s terminals;
  • Contractor-specific documents such as settlement, safety, regulatory requirements;
  • Assigned loads;
  • Other useful apps; and
  • The load board, where they can search for available loads within the network.

There’s also an option to reach out to central dispatch 24/7 if drivers have any questions.

Haul Now has increased transparency in the company’s business relationships and created a channel for communication between its service centers and independent contractors. For example, if an independent contractor is looking for a load out of a particular terminal, he or she can see all the available loads and then communicate with dispatch about which they would prefer.

“Likewise, by changing the technology and visibility around our network planning, implementing Haul Now has challenged us to improve our internal processes to meet the needs of our independent contractor fleet,” Hurst adds.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Hurst, and usage is steadily increasing since Roadrunner launched the app, which has grown to several thousand transactions per week. The most common feedback from independent contractors? More features, and more loads posted further in advance so they can plan multiple trips at a time.

“We are planning to launch a new version of the app that incorporates the valuable feedback that we have received, including a messaging feature within the application,” says Hurst, adding that the date for Haul Now 2.0 is yet to be determined.

Haul Now has helped Roadrunner Freight streamline conversations and open up more options to independent contractors, while also improving operations based on the feedback.

“We quickly identified that independent contractors wanted more key information added to the available loads that would help them plan their business and make executing the load-out and dispatch more efficient and keep our ICs driving towards success,” says Hurst.

Fleet Snapshot

Who: Roadrunner Freight

Where: Downers Grove, Illinois

Fleet: 950+ trucks

Operations: Less-than-truckload

Fun Fact: The linehaul team is a female-led team with over 143 years of experience. 

Challenge: Improve communication with drivers and invest in technology, education and network optimization tools to improve their experience and better support their business.

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