Hitchhiking Lives On — at Least for Cargo

Photo: Digital Vision

Okay, so hitch-hiking has plainly faded away — at least for human beings. But what about for cargo? German trucking companies are facing a big problem, according to ScienceDaily: “Around 20 percent of trucks on German roads are traveling empty, at a huge cost to the transportation companies concerned.” Fortunately, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM have proposed a solution: “a prototype software platform that will enable freight service providers to set up a collective organization with shared access to orders.” The existing online freight exchanges can only handle single shipments, which does little to solve the problem. “A single shipment might be too small to justify the extra mileage, but if it can be combined with a second shipment, the trip could be worthwhile after all,” says Dr. Heiner Ackermann, one of the researchers. “Our auction platform allows multiple offerers and takers to communicate in real time. It enables them to pick the most suitable offers to fill their spare capacity, which in turn reduces costs.”  A pilot study using data from a major German freight carrier indicates that the platform has cost-saving potential. (HT: Eric Jones)

 

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  1. Garrett Pendergast says:

    People have been doing this as long as there have been truck transportation. Frieght forwarders, agents, guys in truck stops are all looking to “fill out” a load. They take a % of the freight bill and everyone is happy.

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  2. Sbard says:

    This sounds a lot like what uShip has been doing for the past few years.

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  3. Mike says:

    hitchhiking is not dead – all the HH’ers have moved to Kauai! A 20 minute trip down any road will yield every sort of HH’ers.

    Thumbs up!

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  4. John says:

    Yeah, uShip has been doing this for 7 years. The industry term for “traveling empty” is “deadhead,” which many truckers avoid by finding loads on uShip.

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