It used to be that a truck driver was just that—a truck driver. But these days, some are doing more than just piloting big rigs and picking up or delivering loads. They're also collecting data, checking credentials, and even conducting inspections for quality control.
The trend is being driven by customers' demands for more data about their shipments, said Clay Holmes, chief information officer at Cardinal Logistics, at eyefortransport's 13th Annual Logistics CIO Forum in Chicago. As for what kinds of requests customers are making of their motor carriers and 3PLs, these vary by industry, he said. For instance, pharmaceutical companies want drivers to not only get proof-of-delivery signatures, but also obtain the consignees' credentials. When hauling recycled material, drivers have been asked to record the number of bales they pick up and note the fiber content. And for produce deliveries, some customers want the driver to collect three temperature readings—from the top, middle, and bottom layers—for each pallet as it is unloaded.