Could Uber Freight Change the Auto Transport Industry
We discussed Uber Freight last year and its potential impacts on the auto transport industry. It's an interesting read that gives a great overview of what the future holds for vehicle shipping. Uber was limited to dry vans and reefer trucks at the time and only carriers were allowed to use the service.
Uber Freight now offers shippers. This could change the entire game.
How the auto transportation industry operates now
Central Dispatch is the industry's main load board that connects shippers with freight carriers and freight seekers. Dealerships can also post freight to increase their customer base beyond state borders. This is how most vehicles are moved. Brokers will place loads at central, and trucks will either call looking to find it or brokers will call trucks to see if they are able to take it. It's efficient and has been for decades.
While loads boards have changed, Central is still the best. This is due to the fact that everyone in the industry knows Central Dispatch well and what they get from it. It is easy to find trucks if the route is not well-known.
Why would anyone change it?
Uber Freight: How it could revolutionize the auto transport industry
The biggest change that could be made if the industry switches to Uber over Central is efficiency. Currently, communication between representatives and carriers takes place by fax or telephone call. All paperwork must be faxed. This requires truckers to have an office that dispatches and a base of operations. For updates on a shipment, this is also true.
As a customer, you must first call your brokerage to find out where your vehicle is. Then, they will call the driver. You will need to wait until the driver returns to you if he is not available. Uber Freight makes it easy to track all your orders via the app. You can track your shipment in real-time, which gives you the most up-to-the-minute information. This can increase carriers' accountability.
Additionally, carriers may be able to reduce overhead by using Uber freight. This gives them everything they need at their fingertips, which could eliminate the need to have a central office. Although this will not affect transport fleets directly, it could have an impact on independent owner-operators. There are many of them in the industry.
This could result in quicker dispatch times. Uber Freight's algorithm could make it much easier to locate potential shippers in your area than calling and calling for hours and spending hours trying to find one. Due to its lower cost, it could result in more trucks on the roads and more carriers using less-popular routes.
Uber Freight: How practical it is for the auto transportation industry
Uber Freight is still establishing its feet. This writer does not know of any auto shippers who use Uber Freight to find freight. Uber Freight does not have any brokers that post loads. For now, there is no way to tell if things will change.
It could. Uber Freight will revolutionize the industry and could spell doom for Central Dispatch. It is unlikely. It could be an alternative for those who don’t like/do not want Central. Possibly. It could help carriers lower their overhead. It could, and why not.
These things are still in flux. We'll keep you informed about the latest developments in Uber Freight, and how they shift the industry.
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