Tuesday, November 10, 2015

(T)UBER?


Silicon Valley startups want to become the new Uber for trucking.

Investors are pouring millions of dollars into startups hoping to disrupt the $700 billion trucking industry, the latest example of Silicon Valley’s efforts to upend the traditional economy, reported the Wall Street Journal.

A series of startups are vying to become an “Uber of trucking,” leveraging truck drivers’ smartphones to quickly connect them with nearby companies looking to ship goods, aiming to reinvent a fragmented U.S. trucking industry. San Francisco-based Trucker Path Inc. says it is aiming to reach a $1 billion valuation next year, and the latest entrant, Seattle-based Convoy, claims to have raised $2.5 million in seed funding from investors including the founders of eBay, Amazon, Salesforce.com, and Uber Technologies, Inc.

The upstarts are eyeing an industry that generated $700 billion in revenue last year, while most startups aim for markets of $1 billion to $2 billion. They face big hurdles, including risk-averse shippers and technology-averse truckers. Analysts say the new trucking Ubers, or Tubers, might be effective arranging local deliveries, but say that is a fraction of the overall trucking market.

The newcomers are targeting both full truckloads and smaller shipments of a pallet or large box. Cargomatic Inc., a two-year-old Los Angeles-based company, aims to fill empty space in trucks by connecting companies wanting to ship items with truckers headed their way. At least seven other startups are targeting a similar market, including KeyChain Logistics, Transfix and Trucker Path.

Freight trucking isn’t the only logistics industry in the middle of a potential transformation. For small parcels, such as e-commerce deliveries, Uber and others are trying to take business from delivery giants United Parcel Service and FedEx’s same-day delivery business. For larger, long-haul items, there is Roadie Inc., which aims to entice college students and other travelers to earn extra pocket money by delivering packages on the way to where they are already going.

Go to www.totalogistix.com to share your thoughts on (T)UBER on our blog.

Kirk Shearer
President
TOTALogistix
www.totalogistix.com
1-800-989-0054 x103

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