The Importance of Truck Drivers
By Toàn Ngô on October 14th 2019
Recently thanks to being one of the main beneficiaries of the trade war, Vietnam has experienced the highest first 9 months growth rate in 10 years. We are in such a golden opportunity for economic growth: a young population, a dynamic, trade-driven economy and located in the highest growth area in the world. We need to produce and trade more and more factory materials, smartphone chips, garment and machines for our fast-growing economy. How do we fulfil and deliver such demands? The answer: truck drivers.
Truck drivers are the backbone of Vietnam’s economy. Without their diligent services, many of the goods and materials we need would be stuck in the mud. Regularly, consumers and businesses want their goods delivered within proper time and those goods don’t magically appear at the place. Ground transportation, in the specific, trucking business is the answer for those consumers. When you go to the market or convenience store, don’t you want all items displayed on the shelf? “If you bought it, a truck brought it” is the saying. Without truck drivers, there is no better way to give those to you. The drivers spend all the available time away from their home, families, friends to stay on the road so products get delivered and the economy get streamlined.
Given how important they are to us, unfortunately, truck drivers are severely misunderstood. A few weeks ago we asked a group of drivers at our LOGIVAN community page: what are you misunderstood for the most? Below are recorded answers:
- “Hung thần xa lộ — Highway devil
- Bay bướm,lăng nhăng — Promiscuous
- Thằng lái xe. — That guy (disrespectful tone)
- Nhắc đến lái xe thì ai cũng lắc đầu — Speaking of truck drivers, everyone shook their heads
- Lái xe sướng.chả phải lm j tháng cũng đk vài chục triệu — There is no happier occupation as drivers. They don’t have to do a thing, still earn tens of millions a month.
- Ăn chơi,nghiện ngập,hút hit,gái gu đủ cả trong khi ng ta ngoan hiền lương thiện — Playboy, drug addict, smoker, promiscuous, while others are good.
- “Mấy thằng lái xe sướng lắm.. Đi đây đi đó. Ngồi điều hoà mát lạnh. Lương cao “ ….. 😂 buồn nhưng vẫn phải cười” — “Truck drivers are happy people. They go places in air-conditioned seat. High salary” — 😂Feel sad but still have to smile
- “ Đào hoa cơm chợ vợ đường nhưng mấy ai hieu được vất vả ngày đêm kiếm tiền về lo cho vợ cho con“ — Ladies Man. Eat street food. Always on the road. But no one understands how hard working we are daily to earn enough money to give to our wife and kids.
- “thằng lái xe. Nghĩ mà chán” — That driver guy (disrespecting tone). Just feel bad when thinking about it.
- “ thằng nào cũng đào hoa” — Every driver is promiscuous
We cannot disagree further with those bad raps. The drivers carry our economy forward on their loads, still are plagued by stereotypes. We learned at LOGIVAN their lives aren’t easy:
Being a driver is twice a regular full-time job. Their lifestyle is apparently rough: sleep in their cabs, see their families intermittently and shower once a week. Their job is horribly isolating, and thus their relationships with family are strained. You’ll be amazed at how many truck cabs looking exactly like mini apartments: in addition to sleeping areas, many cabs have appliances like cooking gear, TV, microwaves — everything needed for truckers to survive long days on the road.
Being a driver requires nerves of steel. Truckers have to keep their eyes on the road days and nights, hoping to have the goods delivered on time. To stay awake for another night of driving, one has to drink 3 red bull bottles and smoke packs of cigarettes. Most truckers shower once a week and eat unhealthy and often unhygienic food at street restaurants. Drivers are very prone to obesity, cigarette addiction and lack of hygiene as their lives move on the road. They can sit as long as 12 hours on the seat and there are clearly no better options.
Being a driver requires loads of patience. He is prone to waiting in the warehouse for loads, custom delay or police check. Occasionally the waiting time can be up to a few days or even weeks. During the last custom blockage, we had the chance to see hundreds of trucks lining up at borders waiting to be cleared by the Chinese customs. There are drivers cook food on the street and peed at places as there is apparently no restroom around. We also saw drivers throwing watermelon on the street because the fruit already ripens and saw other nervous drivers worrying if their loads gonna be expired without consumption. It’s hard to be happy when your goods are stuck in the truck.
Being a driver is a responsibility. A driver can carry the family responsibility with their loads: family income, kids school fees or debt. Many drivers take loans on the trucks that drivers have to work days and nights to pay back. If they returned empty on the return trip, “a wind-carrying truck” like they said, their income is at minus. Besides, they get little respect from car drivers, police or other people.
Understanding drivers’ hardships, LOGIVAN team works determinedly to improve our technology to find drivers by matching their empty loads with goods, and thus help them to improve their income on the way home. By utilizing technology embedded in each small, connected smartphone, we give more bargaining power and income to the drivers. We aim to create a unified trucking ecosystem, giving the drivers more bargaining power to fill their loads for goods without relying on the cutthroat brokerage layers.
We’re solidly committed to our mission: with LOGIVAN, no truck will ever return empty. Our patent-pending APPLE (Auto-PRICING PROJECT FOR LOGIVAN: CODE E) gives truckers and shippers a most suitable quote for a trip. Our improved REEL — an AI-enabled machine learning recommender system gives the best recommendations for truckers to find a load that is nearest and most suitable compared to their locations and preferences. With the technology, we’re on the brink of a grand leap to improve logistics industry efficiency at a massive scale, and that starts with each tiny, portable smartphone that each driver carry with them.
“With LOGIVAN, no truck will ever return empty”. If you believe that you can make a happier, more fulfilling life for drivers — join us. It is a great opportunity to work together to energise our logistics, cut inefficiencies, reduce a tantamount of logistics waste a year and make our drivers’ lives better.
It’s a deeply meaningful mission.