Every day, brokers receive hundreds of documents, and they come from various sources. As drivers know, one of the primary sources of documents is from their mobile phones. Smartphones offer drivers more flexibility with sending documents than ever before. Sophisticated cameras can take detailed photos, and there are many apps that can scan and optimize documents prior to sending them out. There are several areas that are important to understand to make sure that your documents submitted via your mobile device are received efficiently and successfully.

Apps

CamScanner– this popular app with drivers turns any smartphone into a camera for document management. This app allows you to capture an image of a document such as a BOL, convert it into a PDF, and either upload the document to a cloud storage account (GDrive, Dropbox, etc.) or email the file to any contact using the email account that is set up on your phone. A basic account is free and allows you 200 MB of cloud space. More space and enhanced features are available via a Premium Account ($4.99US per month), or Business Account ($6.99US per month).  

Transflo Mobile – This app has gone through some major changes in the last year – with many more driver focused features being added, such as HOS, weather, CAT scale locations, and more. But, where they started out was with document imaging, and this feature just keeps getting better. The app has a “Scan” area of their app where you can capture all your documents and send them off with a few simple steps. Use UWT’s TRANSFLO Mobile program to send paperwork to us right from your iPhone or Android device, for the low cost of $1 per transmittal.

It is always best to use an app, as these will convert images into black and white documents. This is preferable over just photographing documents as there can be issues with blurriness and contrast which will make the document difficult to read. Photos should only be used to capture images such as crashes, claims, product quality, and temperatures.

Digitizing Documents

There are various helpful tips when it comes to making sure you will have the best digital version of your image, but you NEED to start with a good original. Any issues with legibility will transfer to the digitized document.

Documents should be placed on a well, lit flat surface. It’s even better if that surface is darker than the paper. Turn your camera to auto flash setting and capture the image from straight down. Any app you are using should then let you straighten and crop the image so that it contains only the document and none of the background.

If you have multiple pages, make sure to load all pages into one file – this will be better for sending as its easier when all documents that are associated with a load (confirmations, BOLs, invoices, etc.) are grouped together.

When you have captured your document, be sure to review the digitized version. Is it crisp, clear, and legible? If not, just delete the file and try again. This is way better than having the receiver of your document call you because they cannot read it and requesting that you submit it again. This can cause delays to paperwork processing and payments.  

File Types

Most apps will let you choose what file type you want to save your documents with. For any type of text document, we suggest saving it as a PDF, as these are smaller file types and can be organized here in our office with ease. For photos, we suggest sending these in either JPG or PNG format. Note that these files will be larger and might take some time to send electronically.  

Sending Documents

So now that you have captured your documents, reviewed them for clarity and completeness, they are ready for sending. We suggest you use our distribution lists to send the files over, as then they will not get lost in someone’s personal inbox.

For delivered loads, send documents (invoices, confirmations, BOLs, receipts, etc.) to carriers@uwtransportaiton.com

For in transit loads, send documents (BOLs, phytos, border docs, etc.) to csr@uwtransportation.com

Using these tips will ensure your documents and load paperwork get to us in a timely and appropriate manner. Remember to always keep the original! File it away in a safe place in case it is needed later. In addition, there are some cases where we do request originals and those will need to be mailed to us. If you need guidance on how long you need to retain originals for, check out last week’s post: Business 101: Our Top Tips to Increase Your Operational Efficiency.

And one final note: good image quality is a driver’s responsibility and having good practices benefits you: it leads to less calls from us and speedier payment processing. If you have any questions or need any help with the apps mentioned above, contact us; we would be happy to help!

Sending Documents to UWT? Document Imaging Tips for Drivers was last modified: by