Finding a truck to haul something across the country isn’t as easy as hailing a taxi or ride-share service, but it may be getting closer as peer-to-peer trucking apps start to gain traction in the industry.
These on-demand freight services are used by less than 5 percent of U.S. trucking lines, but the industry is getting a big push from investors. Hundreds of millions of dollars are going into dozens of freight tech start-ups, including Transfix, Loadsmart, Convoy, Doft, Cargo Chief, TugForce, HaulHound, Parade, ShipLync, uShip and Flexport, which has raised $94 million over the past several years.
Deals with trucking start-ups reached a record high in 2016, with 55 deals worth more than $750 million in aggregate.
Trucking tech start-ups have raised $478 million across 21 deals during the first half of this year. The research firm believes total funding in 2017 will surpass last year’s total.
Of the companies focused on the freight trucking industry, Austin, Texas-based uShip — an online shipping marketplace and freight automation software provider — has become a hot funding choice.
UShip allows truck drivers with a partial load to make extra money without large route detours by filling open space in their trucks with freight travelling in the same direction. They can bid on a shipment, agree to a fixed price or negotiate a price.
Logistics company DB Schenker believes the business model is viable.
That’s why the company invested $25 million in the start-up in February. The total amount raised by uShip is $50 million.
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