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Overcoming Travel Challenges In The Freight And Logistics Industry

Tackling tricky travel for the freight and logistics industry

5 min
Posted: 30 August 2023
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Discover how Amex GBT Egencia (Egencia™) takes on some of the most unique challenges the freight and logistics industry faces when it comes to arranging travel.

Freight and logistics are unlike any other industry…  

They might be on the road a lot, but that doesn’t mean arranging travel is any easier for freight shipping and logistics companies or the haulage industry as a whole. In fact, it’s quite the opposite with complex issues causing inefficiencies and difficulties with cost savings for shippers.  

And with economic uncertainty still looming, these companies need to develop business structures that are flexible and sustainable in order to keep growing – including modernising their travel management for lorry drivers.

So, we spoke to Stacey Butcher, Egencia’s Regional Account Manager for North America, about the ways Egencia has made a huge impact on our haulage customers’ supply chain by developing an offer to meet the challenges of haulage companies head on.

Challenge: Frequent lorry driver changes cost valuable time

Driver turnover can be high and setting up new drivers and short/long haul contractors in the system is quite time-consuming, especially in times of driver shortages in the transportation services industry.  

Customers wanted a way they could simply add drivers without going through the process of setting them up with an account and somewhere they can manage travellers quickly and easily.  

Solution: Arranger Groups quickly pair drivers with support

"Egencia Arranger Groups allow travel managers to easily oversee large sets of travellers and travel arrangers, saving time and effort when organising and optimising travel. They can also connect arrangers to specific groups and departments."

And the best part? Travel managers can simply add or remove drivers to the different groups in real-time which automatically assigns them to an arranger.

The challenge: Drivers paying for their own hotels need reimbursement

When out on the road, lorry drivers often have to pay for their own accommodation on their own personal credit cards, with some not having access to the Egencia app due to the nature of their job. Drivers have to claim back these costs (a process we can all agree isn’t ideal). Bookings made outside of Egencia’s program don’t benefit from special hotel rates--increasing costs when travelling.  

The solution: Virtual cards streamline payments so they’re easy to track and manage

A virtual card is a one-time-use credit card, generated electronically, for a specified amount and valid for a specific period. Virtual cards can only be charged once and expire after the transaction.

These virtual cards are generated for each hotel booking by the customer’s bank or credit card issuer and then shared with Egencia through our partner Conferma. When a traveller and/or arranger complete their booking, the Egencia system will request a virtual credit card number from Conferma which is then included automatically into the booking. At the same time (for GDS, Neg, and Hotel collect rates), Conferma sends a notification to the hotel with payment instructions and the amount. The hotel will use the virtual card for payment during the travellers’ stay, and a copy of the virtual card is also within the Egencia mobile app in case the driver needs to show it to the hotel when checking in or out. The authorisation form prompts the hotel to email the invoice directly to the Conferma snap portal when the guest checks out and the traveller can also request a copy, if needed. Snap is a tool that allows corporate finance teams to streamline the business expense reporting process with automated reconciliation of payment and purchase data in one place.  

This means the lorry driver no longer pays out-of-pocket, and they get access to Egencia Preferred Rates (EPR) which helps drive cost savings and policy compliance with in-house providers. So, the burden is completely removed from the drivers. And now they can forget about claiming expenses, enjoy minimal need for expense reports while also driving compliance.

Win, win!

Challenge: Unexpected rest stops can be unpredictable and difficult to manage

As a result of having to stick to safe driving durations, drivers often have to stay overnight unexpectedly in some less than well-treaded areas. These areas do not have as much information on key issues such as safety and security, and there may be confusion about parking their large or heavy-duty vehicles in or near the properties.  

Solution: Egencia mobile app and 24/7 support mean your staff can book whenever they need to

Permanent (non-contractor) drivers get access to the Egencia mobile app. This can span to teamsters and owner-operators that fill a permanent role for CDL-dependent lorry-driving operations. This means they benefit from last minute mobile only deals, Egencia Preferred Rates, and trusted hotels if they find themselves needing a last-minute booking. This gives them more flexibility when journeys don’t necessarily go to plan, and makes sure hotels are lorry-friendly.  

And no need to worry about whether the next hotel has open parking space for them. Egencia provides parking details which can be found within the hotel information.

But if they still get stuck? They have 24/7 support in case they need any help.

Having difficulty managing complex travel? Try us out for size

So, does your freight and logistics services business have unique challenges that need tackling? Arrange a demo with us today and see how Amex GBT Egencia can add ease to your travel – no matter the final destination.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog, “4 ways modern transport and logistics companies stay ahead” for a glimpse into what it’s like for a transportation and logistics company to partner with a Travel Management Company (TMC).

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