Unless you’ve been completely under a rock the past few years, you’ve probably heard of Uber. It’s that mobile app that let’s people find and pay for rides—it’s essentially a virtual taxi service. Users can even become drivers and earn cash hauling people around. And despite a lot of negative press they’ve received, their idea became so popular that it has inspired a new generation of thinking in another transportation industry….trucking.
Let me introduce you to Cargomatic, a Los Angeles-based company hoping to emerge at the head of the game of the “Uber for truckers” movement. And, so far, they’ve really been doing just that. In fact, according to TechCrunch, they have raised about $8 Million recently to grow their application and be able to strengthen connections between truck drivers and truckers.
How does it work?
Cargomatic can be used by shippers and carriers to get cargo delivered. It mostly caters to shippers who need things delivered frequently and locally. They want value and speed when they’re looking for people to haul their merchandise. The perfect carriers for this service are owner-operators (whether it be one truck or entire fleets) who want to pick and choose their work schedules or enhance their business (and make some extra cash.)
Just like any other trucking job, drivers who use this Uber-esque app to find assignments, commercial licenses and insurance is double-checked before any one is allowed to provide the service. Additionally, an added advantage the app has is that Cargomatic can even approximate what drivers should be making (based on travel distance and weight) so that a fair wage can be agreed upon. Payment is made easy too–invoices and payments are done by shipper’s sending credit card information so drivers will see their hard-earned money quickly.
The future of Cargomatic.
Since launching in 2014, Cargomatic has been functioning in Southern California and some areas of New York. However, now that they have raised that $8 million thanks for partners help from investors like Canaan Partners, Volvo Group Venture, Morado Venture Partners, Rob Estes of Estes Express, and several others; they hope to be able to grow. The local trucking market is a multi-BILLION dollar industry after all.
“Trucking has long been an essential part of how business gets done, and the Cargomatic platform provides a win-win scenario for businesses who need to ship goods locally, and for truckers who have available capacity,” says Hrach Simonian of Canaan Partners.
However, the orginal Uber isn’t going to just sit there and miss out on the HUGE market in the cargo sector. You can read here about the UberCARGO moving and delivery services they will be launching soon.
What will an Uber-fied trucking industry look like?
Assuming Cargomatic reaches it’s potential and becomes the new “thing” for shipping goods, there’s bound to be more copycat companies that spring up and start doing the same thing. Efficient deliveries will hopefully become the future. Although, it does make me wonder how national driving companies will be affected by the digital start-up craze in trucking. Will owner-operators prefer local driving through this Uber-technology or will it just help out with the driver shortage?
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!