Tag Archive | "Alliance"

Autonomous Driving for Trucks Will Happen First, Says Full Truck Alliance CFO

“Our view is that the commercialization of autonomous driving for passenger vehicles will probably take a bit longer than people would think,” says Richard Zhang, CFO of Full Truck Alliance. “We think the commercialization of autonomous driving for trucks will probably take place a lot sooner than it will take place in the passenger car vehicle sector.”

Full Truck Alliance is a multi-billion dollar valued company that is becoming the Uber of trucks throughout China. The fragmentation of the trucking industry in China between independent truckers and shippers has resulted in an empty load rate of over 40 percent, about four times higher than in the United States. The Full Truck Alliance app and online platform connects shippers to truckers in real-time enabling huge reductions in empty loads.

Richard Zhang, CFO of Full Truck Alliance based in China, discussed the company’s future in an interview on CNBC International TV this morning:

Full Truck Alliance in China is the Uber for Trucks

The problem we’re trying to solve is very simple because there are high inefficiencies between matching with the truck drivers and also matching with the shippers. The empty load rate in the US is only ten percent while the empty load rate in China is 40 percent. The empty load rate is very similar to the vacancy rate in the hotel business. The reason is that the market here is highly fragmented. You have highly fragmented truck drivers and highly fragmented shippers, lots of SMEs.

Before we came into existence the matching between the truck drivers and shippers were taking place across a thousand offline marketplaces in China. What we have been trying to do is bring that offline marketplace online and use our algorithms in the back office to match automatically the truck drivers and the shippers. We are trying to reduce that empty load rate to well below 40 percent.

Monetization Via Membership and Uber-Like Fees

Our monetization strategy for Full Truck Alliance is as a product of a merger between two companies, Truck Alliance and also Yunmanman a little over a year ago. Post-merger we started monetization and the monetization takes place in two ways. Number one is we are charging a membership fee for the shippers and also very similar to Uber or DiDi we’re charging a take rate on the transactions themselves.

We were very close to achieving our 2018 profit objective. We are actually very marginally close to break-even at the current moment and we have no doubt that we’re going be making earnings in 2019.

Autonomous Driving for Trucks Will Happen First

Our view is that the commercialization of autonomous driving for passenger vehicles will probably take a bit longer than people would think. We think the commercialization of autonomous driving for trucks will probably take place a lot sooner than it will take place in the passenger car vehicle sector. Therefore we are deploying a certain amount of resources into that sector in the form of investment.

We have decided to be a strategic investor in an autonomous driving truck company for them to actually develop that technology and for us to actually use. The mandate for the partner is to actually put a fleet on the road in China to start working with our shippers in the next 12 to 24 months. That’s our mandate and so it depends on how successful they’re going to be at executing our strategy.

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Google, Target Form Alliance to Take on Amazon

A war among titans is silently brewing in the online retail arena. Recently, Google announced a partnership with Target, a move that could signal the start of Google’s challenge to eCommerce giant Amazon on its own turf.

Amazon is a serious threat not only to traditional retailers such as Target but to the search engine king Google as well. While Google might be the leader among search engines, many people are heading to Amazon first when looking for a particular product online. According to a Kenshoo survey, Google maintains a relatively small edge over Amazon when it comes product searches.

Which of these online sites are you likely to use to help you find product ideas and information before making a purchase? Facebook - 27%, Retail Websites - 36%, eBay - 38%, Amazon - 72%, Google - 85%

Image via Search Engine Land

In an effort to widen its lead on product searches, Google has set in motion plans to keep Amazon at bay. It has steadily formed alliances with a number of retailers, to collectively put up a stand against a common enemy.

Google announced on Thursday that it will be expanding its year-old delivery deal with Target. Previously available only in New York City and California, the two companies agreed to provide coverage nationwide, according to The Verge.  Shoppers can now order products carried by Target through Google Home smart speaker.

Of course, the arrangement between Google and Target is seen as a direct challenge to Amazon’s service that allows customers to easily order what they want from the online retailer using voice commands through Echo. Though it may be difficult for Google to fend off Amazon in the segment, the company hopes that by partnering with a host of well-known brick-and-mortar stores, people might start seeing Google Home as an alternative to Echo when it comes to voice-activated shopping. And with the growing number of stores joining the alliance, the breadth and variety of products available via the service might be able to compete with Amazon’s dazzling array of options.

Aside from Target, Google already has a similar partnership with Walmart.  In August, the company gained access “hundreds of thousands of items” being sold by the Walmart, Adweek reported. Google also managed to secure agreements with other big retailers such as Home Depot.

What is interesting to note is that the Google and Target deal will likely employ either augmented or virtual reality to lure customers into the service according to a Recode. The speculation is based on the press release given by Mike McNamara Target’s digital chief.

“Target and Google teams are working on … building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara previously announced. Of course, the details are yet to be revealed but it will be interesting to see just how the search giant utilizes an emerging technology like augmented reality to further its business objective.

[Featured Image by Mike Mozart/Flickr]

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As The Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance Falls Short, Could A Yahoo-Google Deal Emerge?

Once again, Yahoo is earning so little under its search deal with Microsoft that Microsoft is having to make up the difference due to a revenue guarantee. If the performance doesn’t improve, Yahoo might go looking for a new partner, which could include Google. Let’s explore how the deal…



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