Online retail giant Amazon wants a bigger piece of the $800 billion trucking industry pie, and it plans to get it by repurposing some classic gig economy tactics, à la Uber.
Scheduled to launch in summer 2017, Amazon is reportedly working on building a new app-based service that will match truck drivers with shippers in need of truckers, said Business Insider. The app will reportedly function in a similar way to how Uber matches drivers with riders, thereby cutting out the need for a middleman (and the likely commission that comes with that).
This development signals the latest in a growing line of not-exactly-subtle hints that Amazon is looking to break into the big business of logistics. Whether it’s drones, planes or ships, Amazon keeps on hinting that it wants to rely less on third-party companies and instead invest in building its own, Amazon-branded shipping empire.
Amazon’s not the only one, either. Just look to Uber Freight, the trucking marketplace that also works like … well, Uber.
Like Amazon’s app, Uber Freight hooks shippers up with a truck without needing a middleman. Additionally, Uber Freight will offer shippers pricing in real time in terms of what it will cost to transport their goods based on supply and demand. So it looks like 2017 could see a battle for the trucking industry. Round one: Uber vs. Amazon.
But in the end, Amazon could have the upper hand. The online retail giant already has a nationwide (not to mention worldwide) shipping network and an ever-growing number of packages to deliver — by drone, plane, ship or gig-economy trucker — to an ever-expanding online consumer base.