Behind every traditional sector lies an opportunity for change, to modernize and make life easier for consumers and also for workers and businesses. “Furgo was born from a need that we experienced ourselves ,” explained the founders, Alfonso Jiménez, Diego Lafuente y Guillermo Lechuga, work colleagues at Wuaki.tv. “Having to find a carrier for a move, to move something large, like a motorbike, or delicate, like a pet. Our frustration at not knowing how to find carriers we could trust led us to the idea of the application”.
And so Furgo was born: one of the latest startups to jump on the logistics bandwagon.
There are many more. In this connected age of geolocalization and mobile payments, finding carriers on posters stuck to lampposts or classified ads on the web and paying in cash doesn’t make sense anymore. There are a host of companies looking to change the status quo. We are going to take a closer look at some of them.
The new kids on the block
Furgo.io was launched scarcely three weeks ago (it is currently only available for Android) and has, according to its founders, 500 registered users and coverage for almost all of Spain. “We have managed to sell the benefits to many transport companies that already had a presence on the internet. Some work individually, while others have fleets, including forklifts and lorries capable of transporting chemicals. The app also allows any carrier to register”. For the carriers the app offers a tool to find work; for the client the app offers the possibility to receive and negotiate budgets, and to pay via the app.
The “collaborative delivery” guys
Glovo is a young startup based in Barcelona that connects its users with “a fleet of ‘glovers’ -carriers- that can take care of any type of message or delivery easily and quickly in urban areas”. In other words, Glovo positions itself in the collective economy instead of the on-demand economy (the difference between the two isn’t always completely clear), although it does offer its “glovers” both staff and self-employed positions. According to the founders on the website consumocolaborativo.com, part of the success of the project lies in the good service and the trust that the ‘glovers’ generate, with this in mind ‘glovers’ must attend an interview and receive training before being allowed to sign up. Each delivery costs €5,50 and as at the time of writing they have taken care of 250 orders.
Postmates is the company that has perhaps made the most headway in the new world of logistics: founded in 2012, it has raised more than 58 million dollars in six rounds of investment. They only operate in the United States and their model is similar to the previous two: on-demand and with self-employed workers delivering the goods. Postmates charges 20% commission per delivery. An article about Postmates’ growth in TechCrunch stated that the company has an average of 50,000 weekly transactions, more than 7,000 every day.
The old transport sector is not the only completion that these new startups are facing, the big tech companies such as Uber want a piece of the pie as well. The controversial American company knows that its platform, user base and knowledge of urban mobility can help them to expand their business by carrying things as well as people. In recent months they have launched experiments such as UberRUSH, in New York, or UberEATS, in Barcelona, to deliver take-out food.
The logistics industry is changing, and the examples above prove it, in a few years perhaps they will be the decisive voices in the industry