Daily Dose of iQ: Two Apps Allow Truckers to Invite Third-Party Cargo

Jun 09, 2015 — Collin Prior

Just as Uber disrupted the taxi industry and has begun making inroads with the courier industry, two apps are creating similar (and disruptive) shipping options via the trucking industry.

VentureBeat reported Sunday (June 7) about Trucker Path (see above screenshot) and Transfix (shown below), both of which are looking to tap into the trucker marketplace -- connecting cargo with trucking companies.

From a shipping perspective, these apps work like 'The Uber of Trucking.'

"While Trucker Path’s Marketplace matches multiple brokers with multiple trucking companies, Transfix’s acts as a single broker for all shipping loads and then seeks trucking for such customers as Barnes and Noble," wrote VentureBeat's Barry Levine.

TransfixMobileApp via VentureBeat

These types of apps could enable individual truckers to effectively run their own businesses by helping them find loads. Traditionally, independent truckers must contract out to larger firms who handle finding business and the logistics around loads. While trucking companies may still offer a greater sense of security and legitimacy for shipments, some of this could be obtained through things like reviews. Technology like this can really help small players start a business and compete against larger firms.

From a retailer/shipper perspective, rather than going looking for a company to ship your goods and then trying to negotiate the destination, you could start with the destination. For products that are sizeable yet infrequent on certain routes it is an interesting concept to even put the load out there to tender. For example, perhaps I need to deliver a large amount of hardwood flooring to a certain destination or an air conditioning unit. Those are one-time deliveries. I could see large companies using this service as well to look for work or even to fill trucks that already have loads but are not full.

Apps like Uber can create an ecosystem in which smaller players can thrive.

Applications like these have the opportunity to both create efficiencies and level the playing field for smaller entrants into the market.  Apps like this have the potential to create an ecosystem in which smaller players can thrive. The thing to keep in mind here is that these models really are adding value for the consumers of the service as well. This type of service often helps consumers find better rates and service than through traditional means.

These apps could make shipping cargo via long-haul trucks more convenient. Apps and handheld devices allow anyone entry into the game, to have a voice and come to play in the space. These changes are something that are affecting every industry, creating efficiencies, cost savings and higher profits for those that embrace them.

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry

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