A North Vancouver company is launching an app that could clear the major roadblock from small truck operators doing business and getting paid.
Go99, created by Surespan Group of Companies, connects truckers directly to shippers and ensures payday is the next day. The app joins a dense cloud of digitization that permeates the logistics supply chain. From GPS tracking, telematics and robotics to e-commerce software, the transport industry has shifted into the passing lane, says a commentator on industry trends.
“Traditionally, you have a truck, trailer and a driver, and it hasn’t been looked at as a very innovative space,” admits Ryan Ernst, a senior manager at Deloitte who speaks on disruptive technologies affecting supply chains. “But when you actually see the investments being made by the freight companies over the last 10 to 15 years, they’ve been at the forefront.”
Go99’s toehold on tomorrow is small owner-operator trucking companies looking to move simple freight jobs. Historically, freight brokers have overseen the supply-demand relationship for shippers and carriers. However, many surface freight transactions don’t require a middleman, says Devlin Fenton, CEO of Go99.
“If I’m moving lumber or containers, there are standard dimensions and maximum weight,” Fenton says. “It’s really simple. You shouldn’t need a third party to get between a shipper and a carrier, versus something much more complicated that’s overweight and over-dimensional.”
“There are a whole lot of surface freight jobs at the bottom of the triangle that shouldn’t need much help,”
The removal of the freight broker from the shipping equation has spurred what the industry has dubbed the “Uberization of freight.” Fenton says a more apt analogy is Airbnb, with automation optimizing underused capacity. He describes the shape of Go99’s business model as a triangle where the vertical axis is complexity and horizontal is volume. Go99 is focused on the wide-body bottom and looking up, he says.
“There are a whole lot of surface freight jobs at the bottom of the triangle that shouldn’t need much help,” Fenton says. “Most of that work should be automated. That’s where we’re looking at first – starting at the bottom of the triangle and working our way up until we meet market resistance where either the shipper or the carrier is uncomfortable with the complexity of the load.”
On Go99, shippers post a load to the app’s community, and carriers provide competing quotes in real time. The app will provide shippers with historical data on average pricing, while carriers will have a record of their previous submissions’ success. Ratings for preferred vendors are also offered.
There is other popular industry matchmaking software available, such as Loadlink and uShip, but they allow entry to freight brokers. Not only are these commerce communities a digitization of the status quo, but also freight brokers can profit online without perspiring.
Kelly Ficociello, owner of Mak Transportation Services, says load board sites can attract freight brokers with no skin in the game. Go99 is truly disruptive technology in that it removes the in-between taking a cut of the action.
“[With Go99], first and foremost, you’re getting rid of that middleman who isn’t doing anything,” says Ficociello. “There are so many load board sites where you don’t have to have trucks. That freight broker – his costs are a phone and a fax. Not even that anymore, he just needs access to email.”
Louise Yako, president and CEO of the BC Trucking Association, supports the streamlining of simple surface freight transactions.
“To the extent you can take out the middleman and put the driver or the owner of the equipment in direct contact with the customer, I think that really just improves customer service,” Yako says.
Entire story here: https://www.biv.com/article/2017/5/app-targets-freight-wait/
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