As State and Federal Governments do battle with Uber in Australia over their threat to the taxi industry it’s been revealed that the Company is now turning their attention to the Australian freight industry which is among the most expensive in the world.
Uber Set To Target OZ Freight Industry
What Uber is working on is making it easier for Companies such as consumer electronics and appliance vendors and distributors to ship goods cheaper.
The Road Freight Transport industry dominates the Australian freight market, they also dominates the transport and storage sector in terms of revenue and employment.
Over the five years through 2015-16, industry revenue is forecast to increase at a compound annual rate of 2.4%, to reach $52.3 billion.
Research reveals that demand for the industry’s services remains strong.
In Australia over 80 percent of all freight is hauled by trucks of various types and sizes, now Uber wants to turn some of these trucks into Uber trucks that can be dialled up similar to a taxi to deliver freight.
For example if a headphone distributor in Sydney needs to urgently ship 20 boxes of headphones to Adelaide he will be able to use a “Uber”-type app for freight transportation that connect the shipper to a truck that is scheduled to leave Sydney for Adelaide with space to accommodate the 20 boxes of headphones.
The driver is happy, as she/he can now get more payload to carry (which otherwise could not have been located on an on ad-hoc basis), and the price is cheap.
The shipper is happy because he/she can ship freight on an ad-hoc, on-demand basis.
Uber is happy because it has created a new business opportunity in the market helping efficiently connect demand to supply it also reduces emissions with less trucks used to shift freight.
Under the proposed model shippers are billed immediately and carriers are paid immediately, and the transaction is executed in a swift and seamless manner with the app provider benefiting from each transaction.
Each year, on average, billions of empty kilometres are incurred by trucks, which cost the economy billions of dollars in fuel, congestion, environmental damage, and lost man hours research shows.
A recent study in the USA by Frost & Sullivan forecasts that by 2025, $26.4 billion of all truck freight movement revenues will be enabled by mobile freight brokering.
New innovative technologies that are being developed and tested today could see trucks driven autonomously for extended periods of time, offering a safe driving environment on highways and enabling the driver to use his/her smartphone/mobile device to get connected to the world outside and vice versa.
This will also help the driver locate nearby freight and carry it to its destination if the truck is also headed there.
These productivity gains and freight efficiency gains will benefit both the driver and the fleet he/she represents claims Frost & Sullivan.
Recently Uber has stepped up its fight with the Australian Tax Office by taking it to court and urging Uber’s 9000 drivers to consider whether to ignore orders to start collecting GST.
After a failed last-ditch appeal in a letter to Treasurer Joe Hockey asking him to intervene in the dispute, Uber filed an application with the Federal Court which seeks to challenge the ATO’s GST demand.
Uber reckons the ATO is unfairly targeting its drivers, using laws which do not accurately reflect the current state of the cab riding industry.
While the company said its drivers should pay an appropriate share of tax, they had been “unjustly singled out by the ATO for different tax treatment than truck drivers, bike messengers, Airbnb hosts or any other participant of the sharing economy”.