Software and telematics technology provider Konexial recently launched a Spanish-language version of its electronic logging device (ELD) product, My20 ELD.
Ken Evans, chief executive of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Konexial, said the company added the Spanish-language feature at the request of its carrier customers.
"We recognize there are people that are of Hispanic descent that are an important part of the economy here in the United States and they are vital to the trucking industry," Evans said.
Konexial made the announcement at the recent Great American Trucking Show, which was held in Dallas.
"Some of the fleets that we're working with now, some of the larger fleets, they actually told us that's something that they want to be able to offer – some of them have 20 to 30 percent of drivers who are native Spanish speakers," Evans explained to FreightWaves.
Hispanics make up around 13 percent of truck drivers, and 17 percent of the overall U.S. workforce, according to the National Minority Trucking Association.
"Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population and trucking companies have taken notice," said Javier Andrade, Bilingual Portfolio Manager at Apex Capital, a full-service freight factoring company
"For the last 15 years, companies have been targeting Hispanic drivers to fill the labor gap," Andrade said in a blog post titled "Diversity in the trucking industry" on the Apex Capital website.
Evans said there are large numbers of Hispanic truck drivers based in Texas and California who travel across the country delivering freight. In Laredo, a key city for U.S.-Mexico cross-border truck freight with a population of 260,000 people, 17,000 Hispanics work in the transportation industry.
Evans said they developed the Spanish-language version of Konexial's ELD product by listening to current customers, but also looking at the growth of their future customer base.
"It's an investment we need to make for North America, Central America and South America," Evans said.
Konexial's My20 ELD matches up drivers who have extra hours and capacity with available loads from shippers based on location, direction, hours of service and economic criteria – providing drivers with opportunities to increase earning potential.
In March 2019, Konexial released the 2019 version of its My20 Tower, providing fleet managers with real-time data on all trucks and drivers on the road, and using ELD data to enable load matching.
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