The creators of a new online marketplace that connects temporary drivers with hirers, Driver Exchange (DX), claim it is set to revolutionise the market for agency LGV drivers.

Adam Thompson, co-founder of DX, said it would transform the agency driver market – just as and eBay have in the fields of restaurant bookings and online trading - by automating many of the inefficient processes of smaller agencies and passing these savings on in the form of lower rates to hirers and improved pay to drivers. Thompson said that the DX is about offering a new choice to both drivers and hirers while generating significant savings.

“We think the UK driver agency market is worth around £1bn a year,” said Thompson. “DX can take at least £1 an hour – often far more - off the average agency charge rate and give it back to the driver and hirer while still making a 50p per hour margin.”

DX enables operators to post shifts online with the hourly rate payable, and registered and assessed, compliant drivers can then bid for the work. The system matches the driver’s skills and qualifications to the hirer’s requirements so only drivers able to work that shift can bid.

DX has taken two years and £1m to develop, and has been extensively trialled by leading operators including Wincanton. It is currently live at 15 sites, with double digit growth in the number of shifts being posted month to month and 8,500 drivers registered on the system, according to Thompson.

“Each depot manager will have a pool of regular agency drivers who work shifts at that site and DX enables the process to be automated, saving time and money,” said Thompson. “DX records the time worked to the minute, instantly providing the employer with a report of the hours worked and money spent and the driver with a statement of how much he has earned.”

He added: “DX works best for the regular agency driver requirement on top of the permanent driver staff but below the spiky peaks of demand that will still require an agency to get on the phone and secure drivers at short notice.”

DX enables drivers to upload their Driver CPC hours and employers to complete DVLA licence checks. It also allows employers to offer higher rates to specific drivers who are highly rated and so preferred to other potential bidders.

Drivers’ performance on each shift can be recorded by the employer, so drivers who routinely turn up late or miss shifts, have too many accidents or drive poorly can be identified and prevented from bidding for work.

“DX does not interfere with normal business relationships and it can’t take out all human behaviours,” said Thompson. “If a driver doesn’t show up for booked shifts he will get a bad reputation and so will not get work.”

DX charges a flat 50p per hour fee no matter how many shifts an employer posts and Thompson wants to work with clients big and small who will share with the driver the money saved by cutting out the middleman rather than keeping it all for themselves.