Truckload Market Innovations– A Real Time Index and Uber for Trucks

Michael Watson Ph.D Partner
Read Time: 2 minutes apprx.
big data supply chain transportation


Alex Scott recently published an article on real-time index for truckload rates.  (The article is here but you may need to do a free registration to get access.)   Even though the truckload market is a $700B industry, Alex points out that there is no agreed upon index that shippers and carriers can use to better understand current conditions.  He contrasts this with other industries, like the gasoline market where an agreed upon 3rd party index exists.

Alex points out that such an index would help the market function more efficiently.  Also, the article talks about the mechanics of creating this index.  The graph above is a test of Alex’s idea.

Interestingly, this week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on the front page of their business page on how technology is shaking up the transportation industry.  This article discusses how many companies are trying to be the “uber of trucking.”  Obviously, there is a lot of benefit in being able to match shippers and carriers like uber does.  However, the trucking market has complexities that the local taxi rides don’t have to worry about– like multi-day trips, insurance, pick-up and delivery windows, potential detention fees, insuring certified carriers, and so on.

Both articles point out that potential for new technologies to drastically change the truckload market.