Cargomatic Wants to do for Shipping what Uber Did for Taxis
Cargo shipping is a deep, dark netherworld that operates somewhere between huge mega-businesses like UPS and mom-and-pops like, well, your mom and pop if they own a straight truck. For local businesses who don't ship goods on a regular schedule, cargo trucking can be an expensive logistical nightmare. Cargomatic hopes to transform local shipping into an easy exchange, and it's now been backed with $2.6m in funding from Morado Ventures and Sherpa Ventures, the latter which provided funding to Uber, which has been transforming the way you hire a driver. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Cargomatic is billing itself as 'Uber for local trucking.' It offers mobile and desktop apps to single-rig and other small trucking companies to help them run their business and drum up new orders. Shippers–from retail stores to an office about to move–can also order the logistics services they need online or via the company’s Android apps." PHOTOS: See images of the 2014 Ford Transit Cargo Van
The company's founders aren't just a couple of recent college grads with a dream and a laptop. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Brett Parker grew up in his family's trucking and logistics business. He's paired with CEO Jonathan Kessler, who has a lengthy track record of starting successful businesses. In the 1990s, he helped start GetThere, which not many people remember, but it was the first website that allowed travelers to book a flight online. The travel industry giant Sabre bought the company for $753 million in 2000.
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Cargomatic charges a small fee to both the carrier and the shippers, negotiating prices with each side. To build its reach, Cargomatic plans to subsidize the earliest drivers in each market it comes into, setting a minimum of work or pay, which will incentivize them to be on call.