A digital freight platform allows truck drivers to quickly find suitable freight orders and avoid driving empty to their next destination. Rockcheck Group’s Chai Shuman described the platform as a “freight-version taxi-hailing app” that connects shippers and carriers using machine learning, automation, and other software services. The platform covers 30 provinces, regions, and cities and has an “intelligent dispatching” function to match trucks with shipments, creating an efficient network with lower market transaction costs. Since its launch in 2018, the platform has seen over 172,000 registered vehicles and over 82 million tonnes of cumulative shipment volume.
China’s digital freight industry has rapidly grown under the tide of informationization, with a market size of about 700 billion yuan in 2022. According to a report on China’s digital freight development, online freight platforms can increase vehicle utilization efficiency by about 50 percent, increase drivers’ monthly income by 30 to 40 percent, and reduce transaction costs by 6 to 8 percent compared to traditional freight modes. Carbon emissions from road transport in China account for more than 80 percent of that in the whole transportation field, and digital freight transport can play a key role in reducing empty-load rates, saving energy, and reducing carbon emissions.
Full Truck Alliance, a leading enterprise in the logistics industry, has utilized “platformization,” digitalization, and networking to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve carrying capacity with the big data of freight transport. Experts believe that the digital freight industry will continue to grow and release new growth drivers to boost China’s real economy. Construction of digital freight industry cluster zones and institutional innovation demonstration zones can promote the digital transformation of the freight industry deeper and wider, according to He Dengcai, an official with China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.