Avoiding Uber Comparisons in the Trucking Field
Decentralization has had a big impact in several industries. Most notably, the cab industry has seen the effects of this phenomenon first hand thanks to Uber. By matching up drivers with those needing a ride, and by functioning on a P2P basis rather than relying on a centralized organization to dictate commands, this model has proven to be very successful. Trucking has also recently experimented with matching freight delivery services with individuals who have a direct need. Given that both the freight and public transportation industries focus on travel and transport services, it is understandable that comparisons between the two have been made. However, Armstrong & Associates Inc. noted that trucking companies may want to avoid the “Uber” comparison.
While the two service models are very similar in their basic structure, trucking has many complexities that the cab industry doesn’t. For example, the trucking industry must take into account logistics management, specialized freight transport, multi-mode transport, specialized equipment, and other intricacies. This means that while drivers can certainly be matched up with those in need of their service without relying on a middleman, the process isn’t quite as simple as a person hailing a cab from their phone as they would with Uber.
This certainly doesn’t mean that a decentralized approach to trucking isn’t wise. With many carriers struggling, a good portion of drivers are seeking other ways to make money without having to retrain for an entirely new career path. Still, the report by Armstrong & associates notes that the depth and experience that longstanding trucking companies have helps them remain in the field in spite of the growing focus on digital services. But as these platforms evolve, it is expected that automated matching systems, map integration, and freight tracking services may all be implemented into it. This could strengthen the decentralized platform and make the complexities of the industry much easier to manage.