China’s Ministry of Transport has formally summoned four domestic online freight corporations on July 8, namely Huolala, Full Truck Alliance, GOGOX and Didi Freight.
With the emergence of online freight platforms, a new network of information communication has been established, increasing the matching rates between cars and goods. However, problems have gradually emerged, too. Some drivers have reported that platforms took a cut in transactions at both ends and some value-added orders were to be taken a cut again from the drivers’ end, although the platform already has the standard 11% rebate on the transaction.
In addition to membership fees, information service fees, and extra order rebates, price wars between car owners are another significant industrial problem making the freight profits get thinner and thinner. With more and more cargo owners and drivers joining freight platforms, some owners issue orders at ultra-low prices, but drivers have to accept those orders.
The Ministry of Transport reported the recent problems related to online freight companies reflected commonly by truck drivers, such as price-cutting competition, multiple charges and illegal operation. All of these damage the legitimate rights and interests of truck drivers.
Thus, the authorities requires that corporations immediately rectify price-cutting competition, standardize extra charging behaviors, resolutely eliminate potential safety hazards such as overloading, carrying passengers illegally and the transportation of contraband. The platforms need to disclose the proportion of rebate and set up an upper limit for membership fees to safeguard truck drivers’ legitimate rights.
In fact, as early as April 2021, the Ministry of Transport interviewed Full Truck Alliance and Huolala. The former announced at the end of June that the Cyber Security Review Office agreed to resume the user registration function of its two apps from now on. In 2021, Huolala attracted significant online attention following the death of a 23-year-old woman who jumped out of the window of one of its vehicles. On March 30, 2021, Huolala officially launched an online function to protect location information, and upgraded the functions of early warning for overdue orders and the safety center.
At the end of June, GOGOX was officially listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) with “2246” as its ticker symbol. Didi Freight is a one-stop freight service platform under Didi Global Inc. The firm’s services were officially launched in June 2020, providing freight transportation and house moving.