1. “Uber for Truck” Platforms
Road infrastructures are typically underdeveloped in emerging economies. But as e-commerce takes off, new truck delivery platforms (typically mobile apps) are emerging. These provide a premium solution for the growing middle-classes that want the full “Amazon” experience.
While China’s domestic transport infrastructure is ranked high on global indices (e.g. 22nd on the 2014 World Bank Infrastructure index), improvements – especially in rural areas – can have a huge impact.
Chinese carriers are increasingly using these platforms to consolidate LTL loads, driving more effective shipping. Given China’s fragmented trucking market and heavily tolled road infrastructure, platforms introducing more cost-effective shipping should become even more popular.
For local forwarders these platforms will drive more orders, more choices, reduced costs, and the opportunity to consolidate, allowing them to catch up with freight forwarding in advanced economies. For international forwarders, this development should translate into cheaper door-to-port costs.