Mobile Visualization for Load Options

DAT Solutions
Lead UX Designer
Help the carriers searching for backhaul loads understand there are options other than a single, straight-shot load back home.

A carrier might have a full load one direction but needs a backhaul load so they aren’t running empty. Running empty is avoided at all costs. Usually carriers look for a straight backhaul back to their starting point because it’s the easiest thing to find the way the information is currently presented. It is possible (even probable) that waiting a day, or assembling a series of smaller trips can add up to more profit. The problem becomes, how do we help the users understand these options and compare them to a straight backhaul?

Trip options to maximize profit

I came up with the above visualization for a multi-stop load search. This would be an alternative to the standard table or list of results. Each option would take up the full screen on mobile. There would need to be other details about the load, the company, etc, but we weren’t concentrating on those at this point.

Close up on options

The top bar, filled in blue, is the first delivery. The squares represent days. Drivers have pretty strict regulations on how long they can drive, so for a single driver, the trip time can be estimated with a high degree of accuracy.

The red outlined bar means the truck has no load, it’s running empty. The small red bars in options 2 and 3 indicate how far the driver has to go to pick up the load (referred to as deadheading).

The lower bars with green are backhaul loads. The green indicates how full the truck would be. Option 4 shows that if the driver can wait a day, a very good load will be available. Option 5 combines two backhaul trips. On the mobile device, the user would swipe to see all the options.

Carriers do a lot of math in their heads while looking at loadboard results. Being off by a little can make a substantial difference. Their tools should do the calculations for them. For example, Option 3 has a higher rate at $4 per mile, but it’s only a 400 mile trip. Option 4’s rate of $3.50 per mile is lower, but the extra 100 miles makes it more profitable.

I don’t know that this visualization is quite there, but something along these lines would help the user understand and compare options better than the big list of results.