PRESIDENT and CEO of RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited, Aldo Antonio is of the view that a vast majority of commercial vehicles with green plates on Jamaica’s roads are losing money because they are either empty or at half capacity.
To this end, he proposes that “these owners and/or drivers, as a RedPlate transporter, can avoid losing money on these empty or half-empty trucks by ensuring they have a subscription to RedPlate auto-reloading requests”. By subscribing to the RedPlate platform, commercial vehicle drivers can be assured of finding deliveries that fit their load and location requirements and so earn money from more than one income stream.
“From my observations and the research we have conducted on this business segment, the vast majority of these vehicles only make money in one direction of travel. This leaves five other opportunities for income on the table,” he reasoned.
Antonio argued further that the need for reliable transportation of goods across the country will continue to grow as the demand for home and business delivery explodes. However, he contends that finding vehicles with underutilised space or capacity, at present, is very difficult.
“Think about it, if you need to move or have something delivered with a commercial vehicle, how do you find one? Unless you already have a number, check the directory or, worse, drive around and see if you can find one, you’re not going to get one. And if you do, it may not be the space size, cost and location you’re looking for,” he stated.
“With the RedPlate customer app you can find available commercial vehicles in your area fitting the space, size, costs and location you’re looking for and, importantly, you will have choices — which is very important to the customer.”
According to Antonio, more than 60 per cent of truck drivers are independent and rely on third-party transportation brokers to connect them with clients. As a result, owners and drivers only earn from one of six income opportunities to make money, recover costs, and make a profit.
This inefficiency, he said, results in underutilisation of trucks, which on average are empty 70 per cent of the time, and makes the cost of delivery higher than it needs to be. Moreover, the lack of pricing transparency, and high rate fluctuations for commercial transportation while eliminating middlemen who share referral fees are also chalenges which exist.
“Also, since drivers aren’t paid unless they are carrying cargo, job security is low and predictably, turnover among drivers are reported to be high in some areas,” Antonio added.
As such, RedPlate is targeting the less-than-truckload segment, a piece of the broader commercial trucking market, so that truckers carry shipments from multiple customers in the same vehicle.
“Trucks that move fully loaded are more efficient and profitable than vehicles running partly empty. So getting truckers to…100 per cent capacity on all legs of their journey allows the shippers to save the most money. It’s also where RedPlate truckers will make the most money and it’s where RedPlate will make the most money. The fact is, everybody benefits from this. It’s a win-win all around,” the RedPlate CEO said.