Uber for the truckies: How one Aussie startup is disrupting the freight industry

Only three months since its launch, online app Channel 40 has quintupled and continues to make inroads as the latest disrupting force of Australia’s freight industry

  • Dubbo-based founder of Channel 40 Tom Cavanagh, says the freight industry was in desperate need of change
View all images

Labelled as the great ‘Dubbo disruptor’, online platform, Channel 40, is Australia’s first-ever app connecting drivers and freight owners in an Uber-like system. And its impact has already been felt across the heavyweight trucking industry.

Dubbo-based founder, Tom Cavanagh, a diesel fitter by trade and owner of mining services provider, EMS Group, said he established Channel 40 after realising there was a pressing need for a more streamlined booking system for freight owners to book trucks to carry large-scale machinery, supplies and mining resources long-haul.

“I was sick of how hard it was for my own business to organise freight loads,” Cavanagh said. “It requires a lot of logistics, with trucks moving daily large distances from Dubbo to Cairns, from Perth to Sydney and Adelaide to Victoria. And it was always so difficult to try and find the right truck driver, for the specific work you need at the right time, which is often urgent.”

An industry in desperate need for disruption

According to Cavanagh, before the online platform, business owners and truck owners were spending a lot of time just ringing around trying to organise and secure each booking.

“The old way to secure a job was via a billboard-type website that businesses like me would use to post a load request, and then hundreds of truck drivers would call me to try and secure the booking,” he explained. “Business owners like me were usually constantly receiving phone calls a day from truckies desperate for work, and you’d be constantly having the same conversation over and over again to try and lock in a load.

“There were also a lot of issues with the platform. Many users hated it and ultimately refused to use because of the bombardment of phone calls.”

From a truck driver’s point of view, inefficient load booking systems and slow payment turnarounds meant the self-owned truck industry was suffering a major blow.

“It was becoming a real problem in the industry,” Cavanagh said. “And if you’re talking of travelling thousands of kilometres to deliver goods, only to find there is no pickup job for the way back, that’s a lot of money a truck driver has lost on a return journey.”

Dubbo-based founder of Channel 40 Tom Cavanagh, says the freight industry was in desperate need of change
Dubbo-based founder of Channel 40 Tom Cavanagh, says the freight industry was in desperate need of change


Fuelling a new automated platform

Over the past year, Cavanagh and his team worked to build an automated truck booking system that works in the similar way as Uber.  

With the name derived from the radio channel in Australia truck drivers traditionally use to communicate, the fully automated app enables businesses to post a load delivery request. The app does the rest by notifying drivers, negotiating a price, tracking the load until it’s delivered and helping process the final payment.

Three months after its official launch, the app's uptake has quintupled in size and continues to grow.  And as the platform is taking on more users, Cavanagh and his team are investing more to further streamline the app and spread the word via social media platforms like Facebook and engaging video marketing tactics.

“We’ve already got over 5000 users on the app and the more people sign up, the more we want to make the process even quicker and painless as possible,” he said. 

 Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Does your brand need a personality review?

There are five tell-tale signs your brand needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Charlie Rose

Senior Strategy Consultant, Principals

How to create profitable pricing

How do we price goods and services? As business leaders, we have asked ourselves this question since the history of trading.

Lee Naylor

Managing partner, The Leading Edge

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Australia’s cricketers captured the nation’s attention during their recent run to the semi-final of the ICC Men’s World Cup. While the tournament ultimately ended in defeat, for over a month it provoked a sense of belonging, hope and empowerment for millions of people across Australia. Cricket, and sport in general, has a near-unique ability to empower individuals, irrelevant of their background, demographic or nationality.

Nikhil Arora

Vice-president and managing director, GoDaddy India

Thank you, so do I.

David Freeman

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Hi Harry, thank you for pointing this out I can confidently say both these bottles are in transition away from PET as we continue to impr...

David Freeman

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

I’m confused. He has a giant 2l hard plastic bottle in Coles and his pink bottle is also in plastic??

Harry

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Great message from an Aussie company about sustainable business practices, particularly packaging. Wish more businesses would think more ...

Krisy

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Well, I wish we could change the situation. But I am not sure it's possible.

Patricia Miller

Does social media make astroturfing acceptable?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in