Uber Freight Helps Truck Drivers Find Cargo

In theory, allowing truckers to choose the loads they want to haul can avoid having to wait for jobs or drive with an empty rig.

"We take the guesswork out of finding and booking freight, which is often the most stressful part of a driver's day", Eric Berdinis, a product manager of Uber Freight, said in a blog post. Once they arrive at the destination and deliver the load (Uber Freight says payment will be paid upon delivery), they can then use the app again to find the next load. The startup launched UberEats a year ago - Uber's first new standalone app. Uber also is making a big push into the self-driving auto industry, and is planning to demo its first flying vehicle by 2020.

The idea here is, however, to accurately match truck drivers with shippers, who're looking for a means to transport the goods.

Uber originally launched as a ride-hailing company but has in recent years diversified its business. Uber Freight's current offices are in San Francisco and Chicago. The same leadership team that built that pricing model, led by Kevin Novak, is now focused exclusively on freight opportunities. The question is how disruptive with Uber Freight be? And going into this space and doubling down on small fleets and creating a top quality service to its shipper base offers up plenty of room for growth.

Uber Freight will not work with Conditional or Unsatisfactory-rated carriers. The company said that it will vet all truckers who sign up for the service.

The company also promises to eliminate payment headaches, by paying "within a few days, fee free" rather than the usual billing cycles that can be 30 days or more.

"One of the key components of Uber's model is the commodity-like nature of the ride-hailing service", Armstrong said. "We've built a team of industry experts, leading technologists, and, of course, truck drivers to help us push the industry forward and level the playing field for trucking companies". Domestic transportation is not a simple commodity. Shipments are high-value and time sensitive. "Shippers and Carriers alike will be disappointed if this is the extent of the 'solution'".

  • Zachary Reyes