Southampton Science Park has welcomed Truckstars to its Catalyst business accelerator programme.
Created to support operations and transportation managers looking to fill empty driver shifts, especially at short notice, Truckstars is an online resource that offers a pool of full licensed and compliant drivers with star ratings based on their punctuality, qualifications and previous experience. Qualified HGV drivers benefit too by securing additional work and getting paid well.
The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK is well known in the industry. There are currently 50,000 too few qualified drivers and this is forecast to triple by 2020. An industry survey revealed that 46% of transport managers were unable to fill shifts in the past month alone. It’s an important problem to solve because 98% of the food we eat and the consumer products we purchase are dependent on the smooth running of the road haulage industry.
Having completed proof of concept testing with drivers, built a website and a prototype app, the Truckstars team is now looking to gain investment to complete product development, raise brand awareness and engage with early adopters who want to be the first to benefit from the service.
Founder Noel Anderson was delighted to be accepted onto the Catalyst programme to help him begin to tackle these challenges. He said: “On the pitch day I was amazed at the quality of the competition so I was absolutely delighted on learning that we had been successful. I think I said yes more times than I’ve clicked ‘approve’ on cookie pops-ups since GDPR went live!”
Some of the key challenges that Noel and his team wish to tackle during their Catalyst tenancy include developing the technology to deliver on the promise, defending their first mover advantage position, finding the balance between developing a scalable technology with best in class customer service and navigating tax compliance.
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