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The mandatory enabling technology trucking companies must consider before diving into an “uberization”
With uncertain economic times looming, trucking companies are looking at ways to maximize their opportunities while minimizing waste.
And this is where the concept of Uberization of trucking emerged.
What is the Uberization of trucking?
Uberization and Trucking Companies
In simple words, uberization implies direct offerings of services through mobile apps. Uberization has come to signify the business practices of providing services directly to the consumers through a mobile technology – usually a smartphone app.
Obviously, the term references Uber’s cabs that can be booked by customers using their app. Customers submit a trip request through the app, which then matches the customer’s requirements with suitable cabs and books the trip. It also calculates the fare – keeping in mind the peak traffic hours, the shortest and the most convenient route – and pays the driver accordingly.
There are three elements to Uberization:
- Mobile technology or a smartphone app
- Service providers aka organizations that are offering services
- Consumers who buy those services
A relatively novel approach to linking organizations and end customers, Uberization has shown wide ranging impact on businesses and the economy.
But what is Uberization of Trucking? And what challenges could trucking companies face with Uberization?
Uberization of Trucking – Meaning and Challenges
Uberization of trucking would be like any other industry. Using powerful mobile technology, truckers and trucking organizations would notify a marketplace, informing them when there is enough free space in trucks booked for committed trips. Now the companies who want to ship their cargo can contact that trucking company and piggyback with the truck on that trip creating a win-win situation for both the trucking company and the cargo company. When a company piggybacks with a truck already going on a trip, the trucking companies can monetize more space, which otherwise would have gone empty. Shippers could also benefit from cheaper rates and get ready freight support.
There are challenges and advantages just like with any new concept. Some of the common challenges include –
- Managing delivery of certain perishable items like food.
- Shippers may want more flexibility in the back-of-house costs and pick-up windows.
- Requirement of specialized carriers for goods like vehicles, electronics, and food results in decreased numbers of available drivers.
Now, let’s look at some of the advantages of Uberization.
Humans have been behind the wheel for decades, ensuring that goods arrive safe and secure. Now, technology is accompanying detecting and preventing accidents. Cloud Dashcam, developed by TruckX, allows you, as a fleet owner, to observe and rectify driver behavior.
The dashcam lets you detect aggressive driving habits that can be termed unsafe. It enables you to investigate when a driver applies more force than is normal to the vehicle’s brake system and record events of sudden and/or sharp turns. In the event of an accident, collision, or any problematic driving behavior, the video is automatically transmitted to the cloud. Its 4G capabilities allow you to respond and take action immediately.
It is undoubtedly a big help in preventing fake and phony insurance claims. You can prevent drivers from making potential false claims when taken to court with concrete evidence from your video data saved in the cloud. The gadget helps stream instant acmes to mobile or web apps for clear documentation.
In essence, the forward-facing dashcam brings out the truth of any incident and saves companies from doling out millions in compensation.
Advantages of Uberization
The trucking industries have numerous advantages of Uberization, including –
- It helps in connecting drivers and shippers effectively and quickly.
- With the apps running even after business hours, the trucking companies and shippers have more options.
- Transparent pricing, real-time tracking, and dynamic scheduling result from the use of well-designed mobile apps.
- Quick release of payments for drivers and higher rates for the drivers who have been waiting for the load.
Many of the operational challenges can be overcome by app-driven freight booking, let’s understand what it is.
What is App-Driven Freight Booking?
App-driven freight booking needs pre-booking space in a truck toward the desired destination. In a nutshell, an app-driven freight booking works as a digital broker between a trucking company and the shipper. Through the app, shippers who want to deliver their cargo and the carriers that are driving to the same destination are matched.
No doubt, app-driven freight booking offers some benefits to the trucking industry. That said, there are some things that the trucking company should keep in mind before going app-driven.
While Uberization is an innovative solution, it is difficult to visualize companies able to jump on this bandwagon without implementing a robust asset tracking and management solution.
Most experts agree that before trucking companies adopt Uberization completely, they will need to take stock of their assets, their location, utilization and whether they are fit to be tapped or not. Additionally, they also need to consider the nature of the loads like sensitivity, subject to safety, and security needs. For instance, the trucking company needs the capability to monitor containers for everything from temperature and humidity to the door opening. In the case of sensitive goods, there may be restrictions on how the cargo containers can be accessed to add (and remove) other loads. That suggests the need for a solution to track door opening and closing as well as parameters like temperature, humidity, etc.
In essence, digitized asset tracking and management is a mandatory first step on this journey. Smart asset trackers will give companies the transparent visibility they need in asset location, status, and availability to be able to confidently book additional loads. IoT sensors will provide assurance that the temperature and humidity conditions are under control. And door sensors will confirm that the load is safe at all times. This is the right way to ensure that current delivery obligations are met even as an attempt is made to monetize underutilized assets by leveraging mobile technology.
Uberization of trucking seems to point to an exciting technology-enabled future of the trucking sector. With Uberization, owner-operators, small fleets, and large companies can optimize asset and resource utilization. As they try to do that, other digital technology can play a role in helping them save time and money and can track the cargo in real-time. TruckX, with its innovative technology like Telematics, ELD compliance, and Dashcam (safety of drivers), can help service providers bring in just such a future. Contact us today to see our rich range of products and solutions.