Channel 19

Todd Dills

Trucking ‘uberization’ and the ‘new 800-pound gorilla that everyone will have to be aware of’

| December 19, 2016

amazon-logoAccording to Business Insider writer Eugene Kim, that 800-pound gorilla isn’t Uber itself, who as we’ve written have clear intent of moving into freight brokerage themselves. Kim reported from sources with knowledge of plans inside another giant company that it, in this case Amazon, was eye-ing an Uber-like app for freight. Assuming the veracity of the report, on which Amazon declined to comment, there’s a big difference between Amazon and many of the start-ups in the tech brokerage/freight “uberization” space that might indeed make it worthy of the phrase Kim used to describe them as the “new 800-pound gorilla” everyone needs to pay attention to: assuredly a critical mass of freight, lots of which moves into, through and out of company distribution centers.

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Here’s Kim’s description of the application the company’s planning, according to his sources:

The app will offer real-time pricing and driving directions, as well as personalized features such as truck-stop recommendations and a suggested “tour” of loads to pick up and drop off. It could also have tracking and payment options to speed up the entire shipping process.

Read his full story here.

Kim’s also written a good piece connecting some of the news dots around what he sees as Amazon’s moves in recent times to become a transportation provider itself, from trailer purchases, cargo plane leases, expansion of its distribution-center network and more. The app would appear to be of a piece with such, and if past statements from the company are any indication, the app might well start with freight from within Amazon’s own network before opening up to outside shippers and/or brokers and competing more directly with others.

That, of course, could open new opportunities to independents who don’t move loads to or from the company today. Kim’s sources suggested a summer 2017 release was hoped for. We’ll see.

Thoughts?

Read more under the tag “uberization of trucking,” buzzphrase for greater automation in brokerage and/or reducing the distance between the shipper and trucking generally, at this link.

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17 comments
Drive with pride
Drive with pride

I have a friend who works for Uber and I herd about all the money he can make? I laughed inside not wanting to burst his bubble. In short I know the freight and local hauling bizz and I knew the day would come we would have another conversation. He baught a newer car to qualify wouldn't listen about insurance risk and cost of operation. Now as I already knew he wasn't making any money or enough to pay his bills and worked alot or at least staged at a location to get rides that pay. Like sitting at Amazon docks with no pay. If Amazon getting into it be prepared to loose more money and hours. No body cares about you but you! Next time you sit at there dock and your time of arrival in the gate loge spot on and you tell the receiver in charge you have a one hour window. He unloads you or your taking it to the local landfill. I sad I'll eat the freight but youll eat the load. One hour buddy. They were unloading me in fourth five minutes and completed in the hour. And I ment it and he knew it. Problem solved. The point is why haul for anyone if you can't make any money? Long Beach docks is another example. Longshore men wanting paid off to get unloaded. I learned that the hard way after four days lost time. I sence have a pull cable to unload at landfills that's in place prior to loading. Ok usually when shown the cable they unload and nothing more said.

euyeau
euyeau

@Drive with pride I find this hard to believe because this would be tantamount to holding the load hostage.  Even if it were justified you would be black balled and most brokers would not use you after it got around and it gets around pretty quick when they want to destroy you.

I would love to do this to some of these receivers but I know what will happen.  I just choose not to haul for them again and spread the word around as much as I can.

If shippers start playing games and take their time on purpose, then I warn them about my leaving and I have cancelled loads while sitting at the dock.  They usually change their tune when they know you are serious.  It is nice not having to answer to anyone. 

rob 379
rob 379

@Drive with pride first of all i doubt any landfill would let you dump a load and you must have only been in this biz about 15 minutes because if you did dump a load the word would get around and you would get damn few loads in the future. not only that but i can guarantee you would get sued for the value of the load. I have heard alot of fools like you spout off about dumping a load but in reality you dont have the balls to try it...lol  Illiterate fools like you are ruining this biz !!

euyeau
euyeau

@rob 379 @Drive with pride Even if "Drive with pride" was everything you said, it does that give you the right to speak to someone in that tone?  All it does is stir up grief.  Those who have been in business long enough to know the real truth just shake their head and move on.  He needs a spell checker and some of us need to check our words.  Someday all of us will answer for our idle words.

Drive with pride
Drive with pride

It's OK to vent! But don't go postal? I hear alot from steering wheel holders but not much from drivers who know how to shift without grinding the gears,sliding the clutch, not timing signals and slamming on the breaks at every signal. Turning without signaling, drifting over lanes not paying attention at speeds under or over the trafic flow? And the list goes on & on. But one thing for sure is, I do know there are real drivers out there that care about the industry, there equipment, there families and thoes around them. We still do the 55 + dance and don't step on the toes of the rest it's a test you'll see? Merry Christmas to all.

circle_m_farms
circle_m_farms

We went to 1 of the Amazon Prime seminars and was told they would not work with independents and now they want us in the net work. I think not. We would have not done all the new insurance requirements for Prime and tie up our truck for a maybe and chance to haul their freight then for 1.75 mile and sure not going to in the future. I put them right there with TQL in the DNU file. 

YoteAnders
YoteAnders

so Amazon wants to move freight for ninety cents a mile while detaining trucks endlessly in their warehouses. seems to me they should first lean how to manage their own freight where no truck has to sit more than 2 hours- and gets paid a decent amount of money! - then they can stick their nose into others freight. Guess its true that those that can't try to rule over those that can.

euyeau
euyeau

Amazon needs to learn how to load or unload a truck in less than 6 hours (that is giving a lot of grace) before they think about an app.  When I go to book a load Amazon is on the top of my "Do Not Haul" list.  Just above Walmart & food warehouses.

vongrimmenstein
vongrimmenstein

@euyeau I am retired. Hauled food to equipment. If you take a food warehouse load from a broker or anyone else insist on a 2 hour unload window. Anything after that, 200.00 an hour. The broker accepts that or you don't haul their freight. With recorders & new reg's getting paid for sitting will come quicker than the receivers will like. You have to be paid for all time related to that load. If not get out of this business. Otherwise ya gonna go broke.


Drive with pride
Drive with pride

You got the point, thank you. For your comment it was more elliquently said.

truckingops
truckingops

@vongrimmenstein @euyeau Finally somebody else here who believes that a trucker has the final responsibility for everything. The saying goes screw me once shame on you...screw me twice shame on me!!!!

vongrimmenstein
vongrimmenstein

@euyeau You are correct. I was lucky to finish my last 18 years as a Teamster working under a CBA. Worked the city & paid by the hour for everything I did. Inside deliveries were tough, but I would trade them every day for living on the road. And my driving & other work habits changed from hurry, hurry, to one step @ a time. My BP dropped 20 points & a whole lot happier with life. You are in control when out there on the road. The boss never calls you in to the office for how fast & how tired you were to deliver that load of corn flakes so you could sit @ the dock for 8 hours & not be paid for sitting. No, never happened. But be 1 hour late for a appointment & tell me they didn't say anything. Out there you are in control, let them know. They give you grief, tell them to play you or trade you. And remind them how many tractors sit empty @ the competition. von.

rob 379
rob 379

@vongrimmenstein @euyeau The problem with that is unless it is spelled out in the rate confirmation there is no way to make the broker pay even if they agree when booking the load. Then even if it is on the confirmation half the time the check will be short for that amount and there is not much you can do about it. They know it will cost more to sue them than just letting it go.

euyeau
euyeau

@rob 379 @vongrimmenstein @euyeau Everything needs to be spelled out in the rate sheet or followed up in an email relating to that load.  If they stiff you then you don't use them again and you report them to the load board you booked the load off of.  If they will post t he grievance and if it gets too bad the board will not post their loads.  It is a drawn out process but eventually they might correct their practices.  This whole industry stinks and is  stacked against the driver.


Drivers for the most part are the most dysfunctional group of people in any industry and you can't find more than a dozen of them to agree on any one issue.  It sure would be nice to see everyone stick together and stop driving for just a day or two.  You would not see so many changes happen in a very short period of time if that took place.  Just the lost revenue in tolls alone would cripple some states.


The big truck companies have just as much to do with regulations and  how we get treated as the corrupt politicians (almost all of them).  They want to see us independents shut down so they can have their monopoly and make billions just based on the volume in cheap freight alone.


This industry stinks just like our over regulating government!