[ These apps have the potential to prevent some trucks from returning empty after their delivery, which wastes finite diesel fuel. See the full article here.
Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation, 2015, Springer]
Russ Banham. February 23, 2016. How “Uber For Trucking” Apps Are Driving Change In The Freight Industry. Forbes.
Nearly 70% of all freight moved in the United States travels by truck, 10 billion tons each year, according to the American Trucking Associations, a trade group.
Without trucks, the American economy brakes to a halt.
Despite the industry’s importance, its progress has long been impeded by its fragmentation into tens of thousands of small trucking carriers needing intermediaries to transact business with shippers. Such brokers typically rely on telephone calls to engage the parties, which is neither the most efficient or cost-effective way to move cargo. Brokers aren’t cheap. For local trucking jobs, the fees can be up to 45 percent of the job.
Several mobile applications hope to change this by replacing the traditional middleman linking truckers to shippers and vice versa. These apps could end up being as disruptive to the trucking industry as Uber was for the taxi business.
One of these new apps is Cargomatic, the brainchild of a tech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and a logistics expert from Los Angeles, which launched in 2014. Another is Convoy, a Seattle-based startup launched in September 2015.
Not surprisingly, both companies leverage the similarities of their apps to Uber in their marketing materials. The comparisons are obvious, although the apps transport freight and not people. Like Uber, both companies have created algorithms that address the transportation needs between two parties, with all the financial logistics, such as billing and payment, handled by the app.