AB5 and the Independent Trucking Community
If you are an independent truck driver and you operate in California, you have probably heard about the recent legislation known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). Though this legislation was passed in 2019, its full implementation and enforcement has been delayed by a series of legal challenges by various industry groups, including by the California Trucking Association. Despite some ongoing legal questions and some protests by truckers at various ports, as of July 2022, the legislation is now in effect for the trucking industry in California.
What is AB5?
Our friends at Coyote Logistics have compiled a very detailed deep dive into how AB5 affects the trucking industry. We recommend you read that for some very good background information. In brief, AB5 requires companies to meet very strict criteria when hiring independent contractors (also known as the “ABC” test) and, in many cases, requires that workers that were previously paid as contractors be converted to employees.
What we would like to do in this post is to introduce you to Channel19 and describe what we are doing to help the independent trucking community, especially those who are affected by AB5, and to see if Channel19’s solutions might be a fit for your trucking business.
Who is Channel19?
Channel19 is a provider of software and services to the independent trucking community. We launched the company Channel19 in 2021 to help bring the power of technology to the independent trucker, whether they own and operate a single truck or a small fleet. We know that technology and digital transformation has been changing the trucking industry, but the benefits of that transformation have been slow to reach the ones who matter most, the drivers and independent owner-operators who are the backbone of this industry.
What Can Channel19 Do For Independent Truckers?
Channel19 has been working directly with independent truckers since we started the company, and our cofounder Tony grew up in a family trucking business. We have gathered feedback from dozens of independent truckers, and here are the things we heard most often that truckers need:
- Access to quality freight loads on a consistent basis
- Establishing direct, professional relationships with customers who need freight transported
- To get paid and manage cash flow on a schedule that works for the trucker, not just for the customer
- To not spend too much time managing documentation, paperwork, phone calls, etc.
In short, truckers need a solution where they can find and book loads, get paid easily, and manage their business efficiently so that they can focus on the bigger picture/longer term.
Channel19 offers three main products to help with these needs.
Full Service Smart Dispatch
Using our first class operations team and AI-driven platform, Channel19 can get truckers set up with leading brokers and shippers, find and book loads, and handle all of their dispatching needs.
Self Service Business Platform for Truckers
For those who prefer to find and book loads and manage their trucking business themselves, Channel19 provides all of the powerful dispatch and load management solutions that our team uses internally, in the form of user friendly web and mobile applications that aggregate loads from hundreds of different brokers into one place.
Truckers who sign up for Instant Payments get paid instantly upon proof of delivery with the best rates in the industry. Whether signed up for Full Service or Self Service, Channel19 can help manage invoices, integrate with a trucker’s accounting system, and help get their drivers paid as well.
In addition to the above, all of our offerings include Business Insights, which helps truckers see their revenues, costs and profits, and allows them to see forecasts for the freight market tailored to their individual needs.
How Can Channel19 Help With AB5?
Since the passage of AB5, Channel19 has been busy expanding our product offerings to help independent truckers comply with the new legislation.
- Employee Management: For trucking companies with more than one truck/driver, AB5 may require some drivers to be converted from independent contractors to employees. Channel19 can help convert those drivers to employees, and through our partners, provide payroll services and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Operating Authority: For independent trucking companies that have been operating under the authority of another carrier and who wish to remain independent (and not have to become an employee of a large carrier), Channel19 can help the trucker to establish a new operating authority and obtain necessary insurance. Through our exclusive broker partnerships, Channel19 can also help negotiate the process of finding customers who will work with truckers with newly established operating authorities.
If you are interested in any of the above solutions, or would like to know more about how Channel19 can help you manage your trucking business, or maintain compliance with AB5, please sign up at our website.