By DAPO OLAWUNI
Few months after it forayed into water transportation business in Lagos, there are indications that Uber Technology Incorporations maybe launching UberTRUCK in Lagos to ease the challenges associated with truck business at Nigerian Port, as well as possibly breakdown the high cost of cargo haulage at the port.
Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Segun Oduntan in a press briefing on Monday revealed that the association was already in consultation with Uber and that the project is 8% completed and would be starting soon.
Recall that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Hassan Bello had harped on the need for integration of all haulage operators at the port, lamenting that most of the trucks operating at the port are rickety.
But with the introduction of Uber Trucking, Prince Oduntan who is the Chairman of Settle Systems Nigeria Limited said the company would be injecting new trucks into the system in order to assist the existing transporters.
He said the system would also guarantee cargo security and eliminate diversion or theft. According to him, owners of cargoes would be able to monitor and trace the current location of their cargo through Uber application.
He said “As I speak with you now, I have held several meetings with Uber on the need to establish a trucking system service, and they are ready to bring trucks into this system in order to assist the existing serious transporters whom at least have five fleet of trucks”
“The only thing you need to do as a clearing agent is that, once you have your TDO (Terminal Delivery Order), go to the Uber platform just like you do when calling for vehicles, once its done, they come in and pick your cargo and notify you, with this, you would be able to track where the truck is until they deliver it to you”
“What I am telling you now is almost about 80% completed”
When asked about the traffic gridlock and challenges with existing truckers association at the port, Oduntan said the Uber have been advised not to hold any meeting with the truckers union for now, adding that they are equally collating the traffic challenges they could encounter in the course of the business.
“In Lagos, it used to be yellow taxi, but when Uber came, the narrative changed, this is not about creating friction, it is a matter of choice”
“For those who have small number of trucks in their fleet, they would provide a platform where you can borrow money and they would give you more trucks at a minimal interest rate”
“We should not live in the past, the Uber have brought their presentation to me, and I have told them not to do meeting with anybody or truck owners association, when Uber was coming into taxi, did they go and meet Lagos State Taxi Association?
“All the challenges they are going to encounter, they too are on the field seeing it already, they have been on that for the past six months collating” he said