If Daniel Serewicz had been around with the Dock411 app five or six years ago, I might have never written about (or experienced) the insane amount of time drivers spend looking for “ghost docks.” You know, those fun places that are physically located within invisible circles of hell not indicated on the written address. It’s maddening, and considering the fact that some of these facilities have been utilized for decades, it’s stupid that brokers, dispatchers, and anyone else sending a driver to the address wouldn’t have the sense to indicate these time-eaters somewhere in the planning notes.
(Hahaha. That’s funny. I amuse myself sometimes, thinking anyone gives a two-dollar doodle about planning as long as their truckloads of stuff continue being moved.)
So back to Daniel, his team, and the app, who consequently have gone back to the drawing board and are currently redesigning and upgrading to Dock411, version three, set to launch at MATS 2018.
Quick review here – Dock411 is an app that uses both crowd-sourcing and company generated information to provide a platform in which drivers can easily access ancillary information about facilities they are unfamiliar with, like those pesky docks that are actually two blocks and around the corner from the street address on the BOL.
Instead of driving around, wishing you could strangle someone, you can (park safely) and use the Dock411 app to look up existing information, or leave a magic trail of golden breadcrumbs for other drivers, who may wander in the wilds of Nashville for 40 years, searching for Death Row Records, with a gabillion dollars worth of flat screen TVs in the box. (No stress there, y’all.)
It’s a fantastic idea, and they’ve had a lot of success with the app thus far. The unique business model of utilizing disabled or retired trucking professionals to vet and help collect solid, correct information is definitely working. The ability to have developers and designers on-site and available to make changes in-house keeps Dock411 current and ever changing, very much like the industry itself.
This abundance of information is being utilized in the app expansion, along with requests from users for easier-to-use features. Version three addresses those requests, with specific minutiae and easy-add options designed from a driver-input perspective.
Not only are the drivers crowd-sourcing information, but shipping and receiving facilities are taking a more active role in their responsibility for utilizing drivers’ time by providing their own contributions to the platform. Any shipper that works with Dock411 will be assigned a D411 ID number, providing an easy way for them to send a driver to their location in the app.
In an industry where time is money and an abundance of time is wasted because of really simple logistical information that’s just not widely available, this app is invaluable. It’s also a great way to augment your business decisions, and use as another tool in the box of time management accessories.
Dock411 can be found in both Apple and Google Play stores, and it’s free to drivers. There is an ad-free version for a fee, but it doesn’t change the access to or information contained in the app.