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No matter what business you work in or serve, if you manage any kind of warehouse you’re more than familiar with the need for (and typical problems with) logistics. According to a study by the American Trucking Association, trucks still move about 70% of total freight in the US, which is a fairly staggering number when you consider how many millions of tons of product have to be moved to and from American businesses.

Of course, with any logistics setup, there’s bound to be some inefficiencies. One of the bigger problems facing trucking is the need to transport empty containers. The trucking industry spends almost $16 billion dollars on average to transport empty containers back to a warehouse or stocking center, and in as economically-unstable times as we live in this has begun to take a big cut into profits and operating costs of trucking companies.

What does this mean for you? If trucking companies still have to face profit-less drives and increased operating costs, the increased expenses have to go somewhere – and unfortunately they’ll wind up affecting your business more often than not. As trucks have to drive increasingly inefficient routes, the cost of using over-land shipping (particularly for short distances or ‘last-mile’ delivery to your warehouse) will begin to rise, which will cut into your bottom line. It could also impact product availability, which can begin to affect your inventory levels, ability to deliver products on time, and your usage of industrial storage throughout your facility due to lower product levels or increased cost of operation.

The “uberization” of logistics is one potential solution to these problems. Uber, as you’re probably aware, is a popular ride-sharing phone app that allows you to hire local drivers to drive you around instead of waiting for a taxi. This method has shaken up the transportation business, and many major logistics companies are considering taking a similar approach.

A number of apps and services are already available that serve a similar function to Uber, except for trucking and logistics. These applications such as Cargomatic and Transfix allow shippers to locate trucks in their area with no or partially-filled cargo to ‘ride-share’ and get the items to their destination without the wasted miles or profit-less trips involving empty containers. The benefits are pretty clear for everyone: truckers get to make more money by pulling more cargo, businesses save money by getting a more efficient logistics solution to manage their inventory levels, and if these options catch on it could prove beneficial for everyone involved.

Of course, that’s if they catch on. It’s a new technology that the logistics business isn’t quite as convinced of yet, and many businesses have either been slow to adopt these methods or even unaware that this is an option. If your warehouse business has been encountering logistics shortages or delivery problems lately, then you might want to consider looking forward to the ‘Uberization’ of logistics.

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