SILICON VALLEY, Calif. — Doft, a new solution aimed at helping America’s 400,000 or so freelance and owner-operator truckers find work, has officially launched nationwide.
Targeting a market worth $80 billion, Doft — which stands for “do freight transportation” — has set its sights on being the first Uber-like service for trucks.
Similar to ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, Doft connects trucks and shippers within two minutes.
Although available across the U.S., many of Doft’s current drivers are based in California.
The platform removes freight brokers and dispatchers, instead taking a transparent transport service fee of $4.99 percent from each side.
This solves the dual problems of inefficiency and opaqueness which plague the industry and makes work better and more fulfilling for truck drivers who want to get out on the road, according to founder and CEO Dmitri Fedorchenko.
“We are going to become a huge, 21st century transportation company that will disrupt the whole logistics industry to make it more efficient,” Fedorchenko said. “And we won’t be staying on the ground, either. We want to save people and companies money and time, as well as helping the environment.”
Fedorchenko noted that in the United States there are roughly 3.6 million big rigs in operation, transporting more than 10 billion tons of freight (2015), representing 70.1 percent of total domestic tonnage shipped.
“Doft is looking out for freelance and owner-operator truck drivers, who account for some 400,000 of America’s truckers,” he said. “These dedicated drivers generate some $80 billion each year. All too often they are ignored in favor of larger haulage companies.”
Fedorchenko said the major problem that Doft solves is that between 15-25 percent of the time, trucks are driving with no cargo.
Not only is this bad for the environment — this causes needless emissions — but it also means truckers are missing out on up to a quarter of their potential salary. Using “big data” resources, Doft aims to make it so truckers can remain loaded with freight both heading to and from any given destination.
On the other end, Fedorchenko said Doft helps small shippers, who often don’t know they need shipping until the last minute, find haulage in short time frames.
Shipment is usually necessary as soon as something is sold and SMEs need to unload their warehouse immediately and get back to their initial business instead of engaging in time consuming truck searches, Fedorchenko said, adding that with Doft’s service, businesses can solve their last-minute shipment problems even when orders come in late.
“We are a first of a kind melding of the sharing economy and long-range haulage,” Fedorchenko, a native from Belarus and former IBM engineer, said. “We connect two overlooked demographics - freelance truckers and SMEs with shipping needs — at a fraction of the cost demanded by freight brokers and dispatchers. We are going to have a profound effect on the world of shipping.”