Could Uber Freight Change the Auto Transport Industry?
Last year, about this time, we discussed Uber Freight and its potential impact on the auto transport industry. It’s a decent read and a good primer on what it could mean for vehicle shipping in the future. At the time, Uber wasn’t really looking at more than reefer trucks and dry vans, and the service was only open to carriers.
Now, however, Uber Freight has opened its service up to shippers as well, which could completely change the face of the game as we know it.
How the auto transport industry works now
As it stands right now, the main industry load board to connect shippers with freight and carriers looking for freight is Central Dispatch. The board itself also allows dealerships to post freight in an effort to expand their customer base across state lines. This is how the vast, vast majority of vehicles are moved. Brokers will post loads to central and then trucks will either call looking for it, or brokers will call trucks seeing if they can take it. Either way, it’s an efficient system, and it’s been the standard for decades now.
Other load boards have come and gone, but Central remains. Part of this is likely branding; anyone in the industry knows Central Dispatch and knows exactly what they get with it. The user base is huge and finding trucks is rarely difficult unless the route is unpopular.
So why would anyone want to change it?
How Uber Freight could change the auto transport industry
Perhaps the biggest change, should the industry switch to Uber instead of Central, is efficiency. Currently, communications between carriers and representatives take place via fax or phone call. All of the paperwork has to be faxed, which requires truckers to have a base of operations and oftentimes someone at the office dispatching. This is true for updates regarding a shipment.
If you, as a customer, want to know where your vehicle is, you have to call your agent at the brokerage first, and then they have to call the driver. If the driver is unavailable, you have to wait to know. But through Uber Freight, all of that can be done via the app. Shipments can be tracked in real time, resulting in up-to-the-minute information. This can result in higher accountability from carriers.
Also, overhead for carriers could be cut down, Uber freight gives them all they need right at their fingertips; this could completely eliminate the need for a central office. While this may not impact transport fleets, it could very well impact independent owner-operators, of which there are many in the industry.
It could also result in faster dispatch times. Instead of calling and calling and spending hours to find a carrier, Uber Freight could easily find potential shippers in the area through its algorithm. It could also mean more trucks on the road due to lower costs, and it could mean more carriers on less popular routes.
How feasible Uber Freight is for the auto transport industry
Right now, Uber Freight is still finding its footing. There are no auto shippers that this writer knows of that finds freight through Uber Freight. There are no brokers posting loads to Uber Freight either. So for now, nothing’s really going to change.
But it could. And that’s the thing – when it comes to speculating about future events in the car shipping industry, just about everything is on the table. Will Uber Freight revolutionize the industry and spell the death of Central Dispatch? Most likely not. Could it be a good alternative to those who don’t like/don’t want to use Central? Possibly. Could it help lower overhead for carriers? Sure, why not?
All of these things are still up in the air. And we’ll make sure to keep you up to date on the latest regarding Uber Freight and how it shifts the industry moving forward.
See what American Auto Shipping can do for you
If you’re looking to ship a car, you need look no further than American Auto Shipping. Things may change with how freight is dispatched, but not when it comes to getting a quote or price to ship your car. So make sure to take a moment and fill out our free online quote request form. It should only take a couple of minutes to submit and you’ll get an instant price immediately right on your screen.
Alternatively, you can give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to an agent. They can take your information and get you a quote, for starters. They can also answer questions you may have, give advice regarding your shipment, and let you know more about what we can do for you and your car shipping needs.