As most of us know, Uber is a technology platform that connects driver-partners with riders through a smartphone app. So the somewhat logical next step might be to “Uberize” the motor carrier industry, as it fits the profile very well.
A recent article by Kate Abromsimova, co-founder and CMO at Kaiiax (“How You Can Develop Uber for Trucking”), points out that although the majority of U.S. freight moves via truck, the market is very fragmented. In fact, many companies (especially small to medium-sized ones) use transportation brokers who charge up to a 20% commission to line up a carrier.
There is now a rush to develop Uber-like apps to cut out the middleman (or in some cases, make their job easier) in freight movement. The apps could “lower expenses, improve visibility across a company’s entire supply chain, and most importantly, prevent trucks from having to move while empty,” Abromsimova notes.
A few examples of these apps currently available or in development include:
Traansmission, a platform connecting freight requestors (shippers, brokers, freight forwarders) with their preferred carriers to reduce time spent covering, tracking and delivering freight. The app concentrates on creating a private network of partners.
Cargomatic, an app being developed for local shipping which targets shippers and local trucking companies with full or partially empty vehicles.
Keychain Logistics, which helps commercial truck drivers find freight from shippers and brokers. It enables shippers to directly book freight carriers, bypassing broker commissions with a network of tens-of-thousands of carriers all over the U.S.
While some of these apps may end up being more successful than others (along with others that come along in the future), there is certainly room for a product that automates processes, and fills empty trucks with more user-friendly pricing policy.