industry outlook series: mobile development for trucking

Lifeblood of the economy

It’s arguably indisputable that the trucking industry serves an invaluable purpose in our modern economy. In fact, the old adage, “if you bought it, a truck brought it”, underscores the ubiquity of the industry. Agriculture, food, crude, and retail (among countless other sectors) rely extensively on the vast network of our trucking-supported supply chains.

More than 3.5 million drivers are currently in service (not to mention the countless support staff involved in maintenance, logistics, and rest stops). And of these, a significant portion are owner-operators, meaning these drivers are small business entrepreneurs. What we’re getting at is the employment block is massive and ripe with opportunity.

Significant industry issues lead to mobile app opportunity

It’s been our experience that truckers are one of the most tech-savvy and well-read groups. The industry demands it. Obviously, these men and women spend a significant portion of their lives on the road. This time spent driving is typically spent listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and, more often than not, self-reflection.

How many of us non-truck drivers look forward to taking long road trips as an opportunity to get away and think? We definitely do. Given this aspect of trucking culture, we can envision a number of opportunities to develop meaningful applications to not only solve non-trivial industry issues, but to also enable the sharing of these insights with the general population.

Before jumping into mobile app opportunities, we want to bring to light a few problems facing the industry as a whole:

  • Safety
  • Low driver retention due to wages, lack of ownership, and disruptive regulation
  • Time away from family and friends
  • Uncertainty in the future

These issues (and more) contribute to an industry wrought with a significant labor shortage (even pre-COVID).

Ideas for mobile applications

While trucking might not be the most sexy industry for which to develop mobile applications, the potential prize makes it one worth considering. Even more, the apparent lack of focus enables a less-competitive landscape with respect to software development.

Example applications to spark your innovation (take these and run with them):

  • Safe driving – connect truckers with regular drivers; truck traffic, stalled vehicles, alternative routes
  • Augmented reality field and service manuals
  • Social network of road reflections – the general public would benefit from driver thoughtfulness
  • Truck stop reviews and facilities reservations
  • Podcast, audiobook, and radio sharing
  • Gig-style job locator for owner-operators
  • Crowd-funding for driver-led projects (increase ownership and leverage entrepreneurial spirit)

We believe that developers are vastly underestimating the potential for virality. The >3.5 million drivers (and countless support staff) are bound by a common culture. Successful ventures will undoubtedly spread quickly, and the culture of loyalty will increase switching costs to competitors.

About the industry outlook series

We’re always sharing freely the ways in which you can get involved in industries that are typically neglected by trending social media. These ideas are distributed as a way to spark innovation and potentially fill technology gaps. If you’d like us to explore another industry, please reach out to us at (or comment below).

If you enjoyed this read, check out our industry outlook of the oilfield.