The digital freight marketplace is an online platform that connects shippers directly with truckers, bypassing the middleman and saving both parties money on freight costs. Even though it’s been around in some form since the mid-1990s, it has only recently seen exponential growth, prompting many analysts to predict that it will soon become one of the most popular ways to move goods across the country.
For more information on how digital freight marketplaces are changing the trucking industry, continue reading!
Traditional Trucking Companies Are Feeling The Pressure
The rise of e-commerce has created a need for more efficient delivery options. Traditional trucking companies are feeling pressure to stay competitive in this space, and many have responded by introducing new services that better suit their customers’ needs.
They have started offering less-than-truckload (LTL) services which allow shippers to ship large volumes of goods through one or two shipments instead of small packages with several shipments. With LTL shipping, rates are discounted because there is less cargo per load. Trucking companies offer LTL shipping because they don’t need to send out as many trucks on each route, so there are lower fuel costs and higher customer satisfaction.
In addition to LTL shipping, some traditional truckers are even switching from short-haul routes—such as coast-to-coast deliveries—to long-haul routes because it’s cheaper to do business that way. Others offer expedited transit time and consolidation services that save time while making shipment preparation easier.
The Digital Freight Marketplace Is Changing The Game
One of the most important ways that technology is changing the world of transportation, and logistics in general, is by challenging traditional models of ownership. This has been most prevalent with ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, where a customer can order a car to come to pick them up without having to own one themselves.
Similarly, there are now platforms that allow anyone to ship their goods without ever having to own a truck. With these companies, carriers bid on jobs to transport cargo from A to B – the company (or individual) who bids the lowest gets the contract. The service allows shippers access to a larger pool of drivers and therefore lower rates for transporting cargo.
It also opens up new opportunities for niche carriers who might otherwise be overlooked because they don’t have enough volume or diversity in their fleet. For example, small trucks may be able to offer an alternative when shipping oversized loads.
In some cases, this has given rise to specialty haulers focused solely on moving large equipment such as wind turbines. Finally, it means more options and better prices for customers – since carriers compete against each other on price.
New Players Are Coming Into The Market
The need for a more efficient and cost-effective way to ship goods has been a problem for decades, but now new players are coming into the market that is addressing this issue. Trucks carrying goods in areas with high population density can’t be on the roads at all hours of the day, so companies like Uber Freight are filling in gaps by linking drivers with loads.
At the same time, Amazon and Uber have been investing heavily in getting drones to fly packages from one place to another. They’re also using autonomous trucks to get goods from point A to B.
Shippers Are Benefiting From The Competition
Freight brokers have always been a key part of the trucking world, but with more and more shippers turning to online marketplaces for their freight needs, brokers are facing new competition. Now, with more companies in the mix vying for customers and contracts, there’s a lot less room for shippers to feel like they’re being taken advantage of.
On top of that, since these sites act as middlemen between buyers and sellers, they can often offer better rates than traditional brokers. And what’s more, this type of platform has helped alleviate one major pain point for many shippers: finding carriers. With so many companies involved in the process, it’s much easier to find the right carrier.
What Does The Future Hold For The Trucking Industry?
Trucking has always been a tough, low-margin business. But with digital freight marketplaces, drivers can find loads more easily than ever before. Digital freight marketplaces are changing the way that shippers and carriers communicate, which means that customers now have access to real-time pricing and instant shipping quotes to save them time and money.
Digital freight marketplaces also allow for smarter routing decisions through data analytics, which in turn leads to increased driver safety because they know when they’re on the best route at all times. With these two major benefits of digital freight marketplaces – cost savings and driver safety – it’s no wonder why many major companies like UPS and FedEx are making their digital delivery networks as well.