The real “Uber for freight”
Many companies have promoted their on-demand logistics apps as the “Uber for freight” over the past couple of years – but now Uber itself has weighed into the market. On Monday (16 May), Uber launched the definitive “Uber Freight” – an app which “matches trucking companies with loads to haul”.
As with the company’s core-product ride-hailing app, the focus is on simplicity and convenience.
In its blog about the launch Uber explained how it works: “Vetted users download the app, search for a load, and simply tap to book it. We send a rate confirmation within seconds, eliminating a common anxiety in trucking about whether or not the load is really confirmed.”
Uber said that it wanted to help alleviate truck drivers’ “pain points”.
“We aim to deliver where it matters most: payments,” said Uber. “When trucking companies get paid, they typically have to wait 30 days or longer, enough time to sink a small business. We’ve also heard stories of drivers waiting over 10 hours to get loaded without compensation.
“Uber Freight is committed to paying within a few days, fee-free, for every single load. When things don’t go as planned or drivers have to wait longer than expected, we pay for that too.”
Uber has, of course, already made forays in the delivery sector with its UberEATS (for food) and UberRUSH. This latest venture suggests that the company is thinking bigger (at least terms of vehicle size) and there is also the possibility that there will be future synergies with its subsidiary Otto – which has developed autonomous trucking technology.