LoadMe Wants to Be the Uber of Trucks in the Middle East
Looking at the transportation industry in the MENA, there are definitely areas for improvement. First, there are serious communication gaps between transporters, load owners, and agents, which results in a lot of trucks completing their return trips empty. Information about daily loads and fleets is not readily available or published efficiently.
In such a scenario, there is significant potential for shipment trucks to join the sharing economy and increase their efficiency. And that is where LoadMe comes in.
Based in the UAE, the company wants to remedy this situation. Its mission is to connect transporters with a large pool of load owners in order to increase their chances of securing loads for their return trip. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the phenomenon of empty backhauling.
The founding team is made up of Tarik Qahawish and Kamal Hassan (Palestine), Nabeel Al-Kady Egypt), and Sebastian Stefan, Sebastian Morar, and Claudia Pacurar (Romania). Since its establishment in 2014, LoadMe’s platform has facilitated the shipment of over 32,000 tons of cargo across different countries in the Middle East to date.
The Uber of Trucks
LoadMe is described as an “Uber for trucks” that tracks subscribed agents and transporters in real time, providing information on their destination, cargo, rates, and arrival times and dates. This acts as a dashboard where different players in the supply and delivery chain can instantly interact and book each other.
The platform covers the entire Middle East, but marketing efforts have been concentrated in the UAE for now. As of January 2016, LoadMe has been seeking to increase its marketshare in Saudi Arabia as well. noting that their most active users come from these two countries.
With prices and terms negotiated between the load owner and the transporter, LoadMe has three revenue streams: a management fee of 9% charged to load owners when they book and pay through the platform; a membership subscription for transporters and agents to get access to the platform; and advertising revenue from suppliers of truck-related products.
Read more about LoadMe in ArabNet’s previous coverage Freight Companies in Dubai will Get a Kick Out of This
Taking the Car Sharing Trend to the Next Level
The concept, well established in Europe, is new to the Middle East. “LoadMe is taking the car sharing trend to the next level: the logistics industry [and] leveraging the environmental benefits by using the power of the internet combined with GPS tracking and smart phones apps to connect efficiently load owners with available trucks and pick-ups in their area,” said LoadMe’s CEO Sebastian Stefan.
LoadMe had received a seed investment of $30,000 from the TURN8 accelerator, and was among the finalists of the Startup Demo competition at ArabNet Riyadh 2014.
Last year during the Global Innovation Summit in the UAE, the company received the award for Best Innovation in Sustainability from the UAE's Minister of International Cooperation & Development for its potential to cut down on traffic and therefore reduce emissions and pollution. It was also recently selected as a finalist in the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition with the results yet to be announced.