GATS 2017: Talking ELDs, Technology & Relationship Building | The Road

Truck drivers spend thousands of hours on the road every year. With millions of miles to cover, they’re rarely in the same place for any discernible length of time. The opportunity to assemble more than 50,000 trucking industry professionals in one place is a rare one, and that is one of the reasons the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) is an event our C.H. Robinson team looks forward to every year.

Hot topics at GATS 2017

Hot topics at GATS 2017 | The Road

Not surprisingly, electronic logging devices (ELDs) were top of mind for most in attendance last month. Many drivers who stopped by the C.H. Robinson booth mentioned they were currently in the market for the right ELD solution for their trucks and were seeking information on potential low-cost, simple solutions. While on the subject of mobile technology, we also talked with many folks looking for a one-stop shop option to help manage their businesses more efficiently while on the road, which gave us the opportunity to showcase our two mobile apps, Navisphere Carrier and Navisphere Driver.

“Being able to give hands on demos, offer instant downloads, and sell the benefits of our app-based technology to such a mass audience of the people we built it for was super exciting and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Jeremiah Constant, truckload services manager. “Because Navisphere® Carrier and Navisphere Driver were designed with input directly from carriers, it’s important to us that both current and prospective carriers and drivers are able to harness the full power of this technology.”

“We were able to successfully show our carriers how easy it is to get automated,” said Sal Montoya, process consultant. “It was also an opportunity to give them some information on functionality they didn’t know existed, like the ability to find more loads and submit paperwork directly from a mobile device. This was a big ‘wow’ moment for a lot of carriers we spoke with.”

Meeting face to face with drivers

Meeting face to face with drivers | The Road

Conversations with carriers and drivers were largely positive at GATS, but the event also provides the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions about how we can do better and be better for contract carriers.

“While it’s always nice to meet with drivers that are big fans of C.H. Robinson, one of the things I thought was most impactful was the opportunity to sit down and spend time with those that have a negative impression or have had a negative experience with us,” said Chris Guthrie, regional capacity manager. “Being able to listen to their issues and concerns and being able to speak to how we can improve moving forward and help rebrand C.H. Robinson in their eyes right then and there was exciting.”

While texting and social media tend to dominate a lot of our interpersonal interactions these days, we always appreciate the chance to take some time out of our day-to-day work and meet some of the hard-working people who deliver billions of pounds of goods that we need every day.

“For me, the highlight of the event was being able to talk directly with drivers and listen to their stories. The journey to where they are, the struggles, the successes, the passion, and the vision,” Guthrie said. “There are so many proud, responsible, and safe drivers out there that have a lot of respect for the roads and their profession. It was an honor to represent C.H. Robinson in person and say thank you for all they do and to see that pride on display firsthand.”

For more information on becoming a C.H. Robinson contract carrier, please visit our carrier website.