This is a guest post from Toan Nguyen Le, Co-founder of Haul
Trucking in the United States is one of the largest contributors to the U.S. GDP, which contributes to making truck driving one of the most—if not the most—common employee types in the United States.
And like many industries today, trucking is suffering from a fundamental labor shortage. Driver churn is a real problem in trucking, with drivers changing fleets 10 to 15 times in their career, costing fleets upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 to recruit, qualify and onboard each new CDL driver.
Drivers cite a number of reasons for leaving a fleet including wanting to spend more time at home, issues with equipment and confusion over how much money they make per job and when they will be paid.
Thanks to Dwolla’s Push-to-Debit and Real-Time Payment solutions, thousands of dollars have been paid to early test drivers with Haul at all hours of the day or night. With Dwolla, the benefits of the gig economy are making their way to the trucking industry. One haul at a time.
Truck Drivers Join the Gig Economy
On top of churn, there has been a general shortage of qualified drivers for many years—a situation that was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the launching of the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. In fact, Bob Costello, the American Trucking Associations’ chief economist, says today trucking is short 80,000 drivers. If the problem is not addressed, ATA data predicts the driver shortage will reach 160,000 by 2030.
Former Uber Freight alumni decided to take the best parts of the gig economy—flexibility and transparency—and apply it to the trucking industry.
The idea was to provide stability for the three million truck drivers who do not own their own rig and put drivers in control. The result of their efforts was Haul, a digital platform that connects trucking companies and their open assignments with pre-vetted, certified drivers to operate their trucks. The Haul Platform manages the credentials of drivers and provides the drivers with a profile that allows them to move between fleets.
Once a driver is vetted, Haul Certified™ drivers can use the Haul Driver app to choose their own work assignments from jobs listed by Haul fleet partners.
After a driver and fleet are matched on an assignment, drivers use the app to check in and out of each job. The Haul app will track earnings and allow drivers to see in real-time their earnings data.
Until recently, Haul paid an hourly rate with weekly settlements to its drivers.
Many truckers have an immediate need to access the money they earned while driving each day. In other areas of the gig economy, where payment occurs immediately following service, InstantPay has been added to the Haul app. Drivers can access their money as soon as they have completed a shift instead of waiting until the end of each week.
With InstantPay, a driver logs into the Haul app and can see the number of hours they can expect to work alongside the pay they will be receiving for those hours. Once the hours are approved, payment is transferred near instantaneously into the driver’s bank account.
Without Dwolla’s sophisticated payment solution, InstantPay would be delayed. Using real-time payments, drivers receive their money when they want it—not when the banks open.
In searching for the right solution, Haul found that getting set up with other payment services could be a cumbersome process.
Not with Dwolla.
The Dwolla integration with InstantPay was straightforward with the help of a well documented API. In fact, the whole process from initial contact to being fully operational only took about four weeks. This allowed Haul to launch the pilot of InstantPay in October 2021, weeks ahead of initial schedule.
Haul is becoming the gig economy’s payment solution. It’s obvious to us that the employment model in trucking is broken. With help from Dwolla, we’re rethinking how the new generation of truck drivers want to drive, work and get paid.