There’s much in the news these days about the possible 'Uberization' of Trucking. For anyone not in the loop, 'Uber' is a company that started a smart phone app where anyone just about anywhere can text for the equivalent of a taxi ride by an Independent Contractor 'Uber Driver'.
The charge is made directly to the passenger’s credit card at usually lower rates than traditional taxis. The growth of Uber has been phenomenal to say the least…it’s now a Multi-Billion dollar company.
Another company called “Roadie” launched last year with the apparent support of UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. Where “Uber” is Livery for Hire, “Roadie” is Freight for Hire. Right now most freight shipped by “Roadie” is small items under $500.
“Shutl” is a new start up also allegedly backed by UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. “Shutl” connects Retailers with Same-Day Couriers. “Cargomatic” is another recent launch announcing $8 Million in venture capital and hoping to work with bigger shippers on warehouse to warehouse freight.
Could “Uberization” occur in Expedited Freight, and how could that affect an Owner Operator? I’d need 4 more articles to fully explore how and why, so I encourage you to google this subject.
Bottom line, blindsided “regulated” Taxi Drivers are now earning less pay for the same work. If more and more unprofessional drivers enter Expedited Freight, there will always be someone to take a load for less than it’s worth.
However, also remember that Preferred 3PLs, Brokers and Shippers with much to lose will continue to work with Preferred Motor Carriers. I encourage Owner Ops to lease on with these reputable, responsible and preferably VOI Certified Motor Carriers. It’s these companies which will survive any Sea Change that may occur in our Expedite niche, and keep you running for the rates you deserve.