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Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Scopelitis’ Collaborative Economy/Emerging Technology Portfolio

Sep 21, 2017

Spotlight on Scopelitis’ Collaborative Economy/Emerging Technology Portfolio

In today’s economy, businesses are rapidly expanding and evolving to take advantage of the latest efficiency gains that technology has to offer. One such area is the collaborative economy. Alternative names for the phenomenon include gig economy, platform economy, access economy, and collaborative consumption. These names attempt to capture the concept of peer-to-peer activity that centers around obtaining, giving, or sharing access to services.  The collaborative economy stands to create a disruption in the transportation industry — users at any point in the supply chain could potentially gain instant, digital access to individuals or organizations that can help grow their audience and move their goods from place to place in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. In its early stages, this movement was seen as a niche for start-up companies. However, now that the collaborative economy has established itself as more than a trend, many large, traditional companies are expanding their services or fine-tuning their business model to take advantage of the convenience and expanded markets (for both customers and drivers) that can be gained through the use of a smartphone app or other online crowdsourcing tools. 

While many businesses want to act quickly so they are not left behind in the age of the collaborative economy, approaching the transition to a collaborative model in this ever-changing environment can be a landmine in the regulated transportation industry. Many times, businesses discover that the individuals best-suited to help them are those who have a historic knowledge of the transportation industry and a cutting-edge perspective on what the collaborative economy means for the future of their business.

As part of their practice, Scopelitis Partners Greg Feary, Andy Light, and Shannon Cohen combine their unique knowledge of the transportation industry, including regulatory restrictions and best practices for independent contractor status, to help clients structure their new business models to be both flexible and defensible under existing regulations. They represent both traditional carriers seeking to expand their service offerings and new companies that intend to grow their business from the (digital) ground up. In providing these services, they examine what spaces a company may operate in with various types of operating authority, and at the same time, counsel clients regarding contractual and operational best practices to protect the independent contractor status of drivers.

 

Scopelitis’ Transportation Brief® is intended as a report to our clients and friends on developments affecting the transportation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.


 

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