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Ever since Uber reinvented taxi services by placing itself in between customers and private car owners, “uberization” has become a craze.
Uber-like platforms have also taken the trucking business to the next level – Uberization of freight.
Uberisation is being applied into many different sectors, from laundry to legal services. And it is getting significantly closer to disrupting the logistics business.
The uberization of freight is using app-based technologies for making the most use of empty space in trucks. This concept of freight consolidation is pure and simple.
What makes it exciting is how it could enable more shippers to take advantage of direct-to-trucker shipping rates.
Need for uberization of freight/trucks
One peculiar problem of the logistics and freight industry in India is that the entire space of freight execution is driven through asset ownership.
With less than 5% owners contributing to total supply in the country, this fragmented industry is completely run by offline intermediaries. Also not all trucks globally are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
When it comes to truck owners with smaller fleets, it becomes difficult for them to get apt market for their assets.
An app can help transporters increase the utilisation of the trucks and have better access to demand and help them use freight as effectively as possible.
Take a look at the chart below and you can see how serious the logistics business is getting in India.
BlackBuck – bringing uberization of freight to India
BlackBuck is one company that has managed to crack the formula to bring Uber-like efficiency to India’s trucks. It wanted to build an online marketplace where people can request trucks based on the size, timing, and need of their shipments.
The idea was also to make the online solution simplify the complex maze of full truckload (FTL) freight transportation in a vast country like India.
Rajesh Yabaji, co-founder of BlackBuck said,
“We work with 10,000+ shippers and 250,000+ trucks and use sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to track freight logistics data across India, and provide the best match-making (matching shipper and FO) at the best prices.”
BlackBuck – the app
BlackBuck’s crowning glory is its app, a smooth interface that takes you from deciding how to ship your goods to getting your order completed.
It seamlessly integrates both demand and supply onto a single platform. At the click of a button, customers can track and analyse the shipments carried out.
Challenge of making the app for truck owners
The consumer end of the app was easy to implement. The difficulty came with creating it for truck owners who are a highly unorganized and diverse group of people. The app thus, had to be very simple and intuitive.
BlackBuck has given the transporter the opportunity to increase the number of trips based on real-time information. Plus an added advantage of having real time visibility of customers’ demands.
The app has a presence across 100 locations in India, from snowy hilltops of Jammu to the green forests of Kerala. It is available in 6 languages.
Each truck is embedded with a GPS tracker that lets owners watch where their stuff is going. Once an order is processed, customers can release payments to truck owners on the platform. BlackBuck takes a small cut in this.
Other features include track and trace, truck mapping, verifications, professional account management practices, and checking the health and condition of the truck.
Over a period of time, the platform has evolved making the product simple for the transporter.
Also Read : Freight Broker Software: Brief Overlook
Rajesh sums up his ambition for BlackBuck,
“Our vision is to try to use technology to make transportation better. I think we’ll be the largest transportation company in the country. That’s our goal.”