If you know the company names Uber or Lyft, you know the smartphone apps! Companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized finding a ride at a moments notice. Their apps link drivers to your location and find you the best option for your desired ride options. Could the trucking and transportation industry of the 21st Century be due for a groundbreaking change similar to these apps? Some might argue that the time is now and if you’re not onboard, you might already be getting left in the dust!
Many in the trucking industry are familiar with web-based names like Keychain Logistics and Cargomatic for finding freight and cutting out some of the "middle work", which the latter of I just learned about by signing up for today. With hundreds of billions of dollars up for grabs in the trucking industry annually, it makes perfect sense that technology firms would want to find their way into the mix. If there were an app to make your trucking company more efficient, would you utilize it? As inefficient as deadhead miles are for our industry, wouldn’t you have thought someone would have found a way to cut them out of the “profit and loss” equation? I know it used to drive me downright nuts having to sit somewhere for a day waiting because a load couldn’t be found around my location! According to an article I read written by Liz Gannes at Re/code, this is just the type of thinking about the drag that deadhead miles place on our industry that went into a new app recently announced called Transfix.
Transfix works in a way similar to Uber and Lyft in that it matches drivers to loads based on their proximity to the load, thus reducing the need to deadhead more than necessary. For those of you that think something like this would not be used much, tell that to some of the major shippers testing it out including names like Samsung and J. Crew, not to mention the slough of investors pouring capital into the idea. According to the Re/code article, app founder Drew McElroy claims that some testers have seen 50% or more reductions in deadhead using Transfix. I don’t know about you, but I happen to think that sure beats running around burning fuel with an empty trailer!