With an eye toward moving deeper into the $800 billion trucking industry, Amazon is reportedly building an app that matches truck drivers with shippers.
The story reported by Eugene Kim of Business Insider cited a person with direct knowledge of the matter as the source of this news.
The app would work the same as Uber but would be for truck drivers to find shippers that need goods moved. The advantage for Amazon is that it would eliminate the need for a third-party broker, which typically charges a commission of about 15% for doing the middleman work.
The app will offer real-time pricing and driving directions, as well as personalized features such as truck-stop recommendations and a suggested "tour" of loads to pick up and drop off. It could also have tracking and payment options to speed up the entire shipping process.
Kim points out that this app is part of a larger plan by Amazon to become a full-scale logistics company that controls the entire delivery cycle. Over the past year, Amazon has purchased thousands of trailer trucks and dozens of cargo planes while launching new "last mile" services like Amazon Flex that take packages straight to the end customer.
The new service would put Amazon squarely in competition with numerous startups in this space, such as Convoy and Trucker Path, while putting a direct hit on incumbent players, including the publicly listed ones like C.H. Robinson and J.B. Hunt. Amazon is a customer of C.H. Robinson, while CEO Jeff Bezos is an investor in Convoy.