Coming to a smartphone near you is the Hwy Pro business process technology outsourcing app, which has already launched as a web portal — optimized for mobile devices — that gives participating owner-operators access to loads, invoicing and payment services. “We are the owner-operator’s back office to do all his stuff for him so he can,” as much as possible, “just drive,” says cofounder and board member Paul Svindland, also the CEO of Celadon Group.
The Hwy Pro concept originates out of a longtime participant in specialized oilfield transportation services, Bill Busbice, who called Hwy Pro’s other cofounder, Harry Hover, two years back with an idea to build the application. “We’ve all been owner-operator-based in the past,” Hover says, thus could see the value of an affordable way for the smallest fleets to outsource business processes without breaking the bank.
Hover brought in Svindland, with whom he’s worked on past projects. “A lot of apps are trying to” be a matching engine for both the shipper and the carrier, Svindland says, but he likens Hwy Pro more to a tech-assisted dispatching service than a freight broker, exactly. “Our customer is the owner-operator,” the true independent. Hwy Pro will make their money charging a per-load transaction fee. “Not that we don’t care about shippers,” he adds.
With launch at the Great American Trucking Show last week, the plan for the service is to build a critical mass of member owner-operators to be able to take to direct shippers who may be interested in working with the company. Shippers will be able to “load freight directly” into the system themselves to access capacity, Svindland says.
For now, the company is utilizing a third-party system to feed in outside loads. “We don’t discriminate over where the load comes from,” Hover says, long as it’s a good load. “What we care about is whether the load source is creditworthy,” given Hwy Pro assumes some responsibility for its owner-operators’ collections. With the service, loads’ invoices/other records are easily searched within the system and tax documentation is made available routinely.
“Our evolution could include insurance for them,” says Vice President of Operations Joey Busbice. “Fuel programs, maintenance and tire programs, some kind of tax program – we might evolve into those things. It keeps going to back to – we don’t want them to have to go anywhere else other than Hwy Pro.”