Uber takes on trucking with launch of Uber Freight

Uber already has thoroughly disrupted the taxi industry, changing transportation as we know it.

The company’s next stop? Trucking.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup on Thursday launched Uber Freight, a new standalone app that allows truckers to search for and book trips with the same ease that commuters, bar hoppers and weekend travelers have been booking Uber cars for years. By matching truckers directly with shipments awaiting delivery, Uber aims to eliminate the hassle of negotiating through third-party brokers.

“We take the guesswork out of finding and booking freight, which is often the most stressful part of a driver’s day,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. “What used to take several hours and multiple phone calls can now be achieved with the touch of a button.”

Uber Freight also promises to pay truckers for their deliveries within seven days, with no fees, and to show them price quotes before they book. Under the trucking industry’s current model, drivers often have to wait 30 days or longer for a paycheck, according to the company.

And Uber Freight says it will compensate truckers for unexpected hassles, like waiting longer than expected for a load. The company is trying to eliminate the day-to-day pain points of trucking, like instances where drivers have had to wait more than 10 hours to load up without getting paid.

“Happy drivers means happy shippers, and ultimately everyone benefits, including the end consumers of the goods,” Uber wrote. “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.”

The new app even comes with a new icon — a pointy, vaguely arrow-shaped version of the circle icon Uber uses for its ride-hailing app.

Uber Freight app icon. (courtesy of Uber)

Uber Freight launches as Uber is steamrolling its way into several new industries, seeking to diversify beyond its signature ride-hailing app. The startup launched UberEats last year — Uber’s first new standalone app. Uber also is making a big push into the self-driving car industry, and is planning to demo its first flying car by 2020.

But Uber may soon have competition in the freight-booking market. Amazon also is working on an app that matches trucker drivers with loads, Business Insider reported last year. At the time, the service was expected to launch in the summer of 2017.

In the meantime, you can download the Uber Freight app here for iOS and here for Android, and send feedback or questions to: freight@uber.com.

Photo: The cab of a truck is seen in a photo promoting the launch of Uber’s newest app — Uber Freight. (Courtesy of Uber)

Video: A video introducing Uber Freight. (courtesy of Uber)

 

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  • Sergey

    Uber has disrupted the taxi industry and now the trucking industry needs to be disrupted. Still there are a lot of questions now. Like – how will the mobile app gain the shippers trust? now it is easier to work with brokers, because they solve all the force-majeures for years. And there are some more companies willing to bite a piece of the transportation cake. Doft.com, Coyote, Convoy are working on their versions of such kind of app. It will be the matter of comfort for the shipper and for the driver to make a decision which app to use.

 
 
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