How digital innovation is remaking the trucking industry

New tools are untangling supply chains, boosting revenue, and putting more money in drivers’ pockets.

The trucking industry used to have a productivity problem. Drivers would spend hours looking for jobs and then hit the road with their trailers half full. Along their routes they would lose time searching for in-network fuel and parking. Finally, they had to wait to get paid, creating cash-flow challenges.

But digital financial tools are creating new opportunities in a bedrock industry. Over the last two years, the number of trucking businesses using Stripe has tripled to more than 6,000. Collectively, they have processed more than $2 billion in payments.

“We’re constantly delighted by how transformative even the smallest efficiencies from new digital tools can be for any business, in any industry,” said Emily Glassberg Sands, head of information and data science at Stripe.

Optimizing routes, facilitating payouts

Instead of trawling websites or waiting in line for jobs, truckers can now get more visibility into work opportunities using platforms like Mothership.

“We built the Mothership platform so that last-mile truck drivers could more easily find work and optimize their routes to make the most money for the fewest miles,” said Gregg Luskin, cofounder and CTO of Mothership.

Mothership enables truckers to get paid faster, too. For years, carriers had to keep close tabs on paperwork like invoices or bills of lading, sometimes even slipping them underneath warehouse office doors. Mothership uses Stripe Connect to pay drivers quickly, no paperwork required. Payouts to trucking businesses via Connect have risen ten-fold over the last two years.

CloudTrucks is another startup that advances money and pays out to drivers instantly. With a CloudTrucks commercial card, issued through an integration with Stripe, drivers can access funds and cover over-the-road expenses instantly.

“We are empowering drivers with the tools they need to keep moving, make more money, offset costs, and sustain their businesses,” said Hali Mo, product manager at CloudTrucks. “Our customers used to have to wait up to 30 days to get paid after delivering a load. We’re now able to pay them instantly.”

Seamless over-the-road payments

Many transactions go into a single delivery, from unloading fees at warehouses to refueling, repairs, and paying for night parking. Relay Payments uses Connect to enable fast, contactless payments throughout the trucking ecosystem.

“Saving truckers just 20 minutes means a difference of hundreds of dollars in their paychecks and billions of dollars of efficiency for the economy,” said Ryan Droege, cofounder and CEO of Relay Payments.

With Stripe Issuing, AtoB creates similar efficiencies through smart cards that integrate with fleet management software. Trucking companies use the cards to manage payments for repairs, tolls, and fuel, all on one card powered by Issuing, allowing them to cut down on misused expenses and fraud while saving money through fuel discounts.

“Our fleet management card saves truckers money and opens up their fuelling options so they can focus on the drive ahead of them,” said Vamsi Peri, engineering manager at AtoB.

A 21st-century trucking industry

Mothership, CloudTrucks, Relay Payments, and AtoB are all helping trucking companies find success online, and growth has been rapid. Over the last two years, more than 200 trucking businesses on Stripe have doubled their payment volume. They are increasing revenue and driving down costs, just when truckers—and all the consumers who benefit from their work—need it most.

“Too many businesses across the economy are still forced to operate like they did 5–10 years ago, but trucking isn’t one of those anymore,” said Sands. “This new generation of platforms and fintechs is enabling an essential industry to innovate for the future.”