Uber is a smartphone-app-based taxi network that pairs paying passengers with registered drivers.
Uber is enjoying growing popularity in cities across the U.S. as riders and drivers embrace the concept’s simplicity, efficiency, value, and–for drivers–the opportunity to make money.
Inspired by the Uber’s success, several companies are applying the model to connect shippers and truckers.
The companies are working to make shipping vastly more efficient by quickly pairing shippers and truckers via mobile and desktop apps. The entrepreneurs behind these services say it’s a huge improvement over traditional shipping logistics, which often involved many phone calls, faxes, and hours of time to match a shipment to a driver.
The goal is to eliminate the wasteful scenario of an empty or partially empty truck on the road, burning up expensive fuel and putting wear and tear on the road. Transfix CEO and co-founder Drew McElroy, in an interview with citylab.com, estimated that trucks drive “19 billion needless miles” each year, assuming 8 percent empty miles.
Investors are pouring money into the startups. Cargomatic recently announced it had raised $8 million in venture capital funding. Similar to the other companies, the Cargomatic platform can be used to piggyback shipments on trucks that are in transit, avoiding the need and higher cost of hiring a separate truck for a small load.
To learn more about how these “Uber of trucking” apps work, watch the Cargomatic and Transfix explainer videos below: