A technology company in Southern California has started what L.A.Biz describes as “an Uber-like platform that connects local shippers with small trucking companies. Based in Venice Beach, CA, Cargomatic has raised $2.6 million in funding to launch what appears to be a load matching service that runs as a smartphone app. The service is up and running in Los Angeles and the company says it will expand to other metropolitan areas on the East Coast shortly.
An interview with CEO Jonathan Kessler describes it as a cloud-based that lets shippers post and offer loads on a first-come basis to drivers within a 10 to 20 mi. radius. Proof of delivery, invoicing and payments are all handled electronically by Cargomatic. There is no direct fee for either the shipper or carrier.
Unlike Uber, however, pricing is not based on real-time demand, but rather what Cargomatic determines is an attractive price for carriers plus a 20% markup. Said Kessler:
First we work with the trucking companies, the carriers, to find out what a reasonable price is that they’ll do the work for. We determine those prices, and then we mark up those prices and make sure that they’re OK with the shippers. All the rates are predetermined. They’re pre-negotiated, so once the shipment goes in, you know what the pricing is, and you know what you’re going to get in terms of service as well.
To anyone familiar with trucking, that sounds a lot like a regional loadboard.