Financial Data
Updated 21 Nov 2017


3 Strategies you can implement before Uber Freight disrupts your business

Uber is about to take on the transport and logistics sector with its new Uber Freight app. Are you prepared to be disrupted?  


Nicole Crampton, 09 March 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


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Uber is looking to apply its ride-sharing and food delivery insights to the greater transport and logistics sector this year as it brings its new Uber Freight app to market. Considering the impact this company has already made on the sectors mentioned earlier, you can easily deduce that you’re going to lose market share and profits unless you start planning for its arrival now.

You have three options available to you, and you’ll need time to set them up before Uber Freight is fully integrated into South Africa’s freight industry. Keep in mind, though, how quickly Uber’s other spin-offs arrived South Africa – so you may want to get to planning as soon as possible.

Related: Why electric fleets might be a viable (future) alternative for your city deliveries


THE NEWS

Uber is making moves to once again disrupt another sector, this time the long-haul/freight industry. It has already acquired Otto a self-driving trucking company and has begun soft-launching various applications. It is just a matter of time before it reaches SA and disrupts this industry on the local front as well.


Here are three potential strategies you can start putting into effect, before Uber Freight arrives in SA, so as to have a seamless transition and not experience disruption like the rest of your competitors:

Strategy 1: Diversify your offerings

Uber -Freight -app -transport -and -logistics

If the bulk of your business comes from long-haul trucking, you may want to expand your offering. This will allow you to stay competitive and profitable even after Uber Freight launches in SA. To do this, you need to determine what other services your business can offer that will create profit and add value.

There are a variety of options to choose from, which include selling data collected through telematics and freight analytics, to diversifying into various types of trucking such as temperature controlled or same-day delivery packages. By offering more options, you can appeal to more markets enabling you to grow you share in each of those markets while Uber Freight tries to establish itself.

Strategy 2: Integrate where possible

You could always incorporate Uber Freight into your business. This will ensure you don’t have to pay for the maintenance of vehicles and can connect with an experienced trustworthy driver to deliver your clients’ items.

Related: 3 Easy strategies you can try to increase your drivers’ productivity

Strategy 3: Restructure your operations

Another potential option is for you to pivot your business. You can do this in order to take advantage of a gap in the market that you’ve discovered. Whether you decide to focus on markets where autonomous vehicles will not be able to service, or you move away from transport and convert to something else entirely, you will need to act soon.

As the shared economy marketplaces that Uber services thrive in gain further popularity, there will be more access to versatile delivery options for customers. But, until then you should consider investing in diversifying your fleet. Or, by integrating Uber Freight into your business, you can represent both sides of the transaction; offering your vehicles and drivers to those looking for long-haul transportation, which will allow you to reach more new customers too.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Determine what other services your business can offer that will create profit to compete with Uber Freight.
  • A potential option is for you to pivot your business in order to take advantage of a gap in the market.
  • You could incorporate Uber Freight into your business.
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About the author


Nicole Crampton


Introducing the owner-driver responsibilities & risks

Bryan Verpoort, Head of Corporate & Business Insurance at Standard Bank advises smaller businesses on the risks and considerations when contracting to transport goods for a large company.

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