It was inevitable that Uber would look at the trucking industry and see a large market.
The trucking industry hauls 14 billion tons of freight annually, which translates to almost 250 pounds of goods for each American every day.
So Uber created a freight division to “empower truck drivers and small trucking companies to run and grow their business."
Using the same model that made the company successful, Uber Freight is an app that matches trucking companies with loads to haul.
“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. “What used to take several hours and multiple phone calls can now be achieved with the touch of a button.”
Carriers that sign up must have a Motor Carrier number, a satisfactory safety rating and insurance. Drivers must also drive either a 53-foot-long dry van or reefer truck.
Vetted users download the app, search for a load, and simply tap to book it. Uber sends a rate confirmation within seconds. The company explains that the speed of the transaction eliminates a common anxiety in trucking about whether or not the load is really confirmed.
Quick payments is also an advantage for small business as Uber pays within a few days without a fee. This compares to the 30 days that is the industry standard of payment at present. These “accessorial” rates are published on Uber’s website .
The majority of the freight currently available for hauling in the Uber Freight app is in Texas, the company said, but the service is available across the U.S., as reported by Tracy Lien in the Los Angeles Times.
Uber Freight joins other companies that connect trucking carriers with cargo. Start-ups such as Convoy, UShip, and Trucker Path provide similar app-based services.
“We fundamentally believe that by focusing on drivers’ pain points we can solve the industry’s biggest challenges.,” said Berdinis. “Happy drivers means happy shippers, and ultimately everyone benefits, including the end consumers of the goods.”