Transport America named 2016 CCJ Innovator of the Year

TA_truck-500x207Transport America, an over-the-road, dedicated and local transportation fleet based in Eagan, Minn., has been named the 2016 CCJ Innovator of the Year by Commercial Carrier Journal for the development of a truck-specific weather alerting system that has resulted in fewer weather-related accidents and improvements in customer service.

The announcement was made by CCJ at the annual CCJ Innovators Summit in Duck Key, Fla. The event gathers current and previous-year CCJ Innovators for three days of networking, presentations and idea sharing among some of the trucking industry’s most forward-thinking fleets and leading executives. CCJ, a national leading business magazine for truck fleet executives, highlights one forward-thinking fleet each month as part of its CCJ Innovators program.

Transport America’s weather alert system overlays truck route data with weather information from the National Weather Service to identify trucks that are headed into the path of severe weather, including large weather events such as thunderstorms and snow events. Affected drivers now receive a truck-specific alert with new routing instructions or requests to pull over and wait for the weather event to clear.

The system also alerts the customer service department about loads that have not been dispatched. The alert includes the estimated number of miles the load will be traveling in a warning area. With this information, a customer service representative can communicate with the shipper about changing the date or time of pickup or rerouting the load.

Previously, an employee in the operations department was in charge of monitoring the weather and sending macro messages to drivers, but this manual alerting system was not location-specific to trucks and loads; everyone received the same messages.

The company uses the data to send specific data only to affected trucks that are moving into the affected area. The weather-alerting tool has allowed the 1,450-truck company to keep drivers out of harm’s way and minimize utilization loss.

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