Amazon’s Transportation Technology division is working on a very confidential project, but a few bits of information have leaked over the past month. Insiders have let freight industry sources know what few details they could.
A Trucking App, Like Uber
This news should be of interest to independent owner-operators in particular. Amazon’s new trucking app is designed to match up drivers with customers within driving distance. Much like Uber, which matched nearby drivers with riders, the Amazon trucking app takes customers with shipments, and notifies participating drivers in case they want to earn extra cash on their own time. Seeing as the freight industry is valued at $800 billion annually, the trucking app could mean independent drivers could rake in a larger share without having to pay the base 15 percent to brokers for finding customers. There is no word yet on how much Amazon will take as a cut for each shipment, but to stay competitive, rumors are flying about everything from a flat rate to an extremely low percentage.
How Are Payments Arranged?
This is perhaps the biggest question, and as of now, there is very little concrete information. As it stands, Amazon is not set to handle large transfers of money, so their trucking app will probably diverge a bit from Uber, because payments will not that instantaneous. Independent drivers hauling a delivery for a few thousand dollars will not have the money immediately deposited in their accounts. However, there is speculation that Amazon will integrate some form of electronic invoicing which could be accessed via smartphone or tablet. If so, integration with various factoring service providers would be easier, especially since freight factoring is at the forefront of trucking as a method of payment while reducing paperwork and tracking customer accounts.
When Is Amazon’s Trucking App Coming Out?
Amazon is certainly ramping up development on their trucking app. With contenders like Uber, Convoy, and Trucker Path entering the race for their share of the independent trucking market, we hope to see a major announcement sometime in 2017. We do not know how Amazon intends to set themselves apart from the competition, but with other facets of their business heavily reliant on the freight industry, Amazon is sure to come out swinging with their new app.