In mid May, Uber announced the Uber Freight App, which connects trucking companies and drivers with shippers. In similarity to its ride sharing app, users will be able to view near by drivers and book loads, sending a rate confirmation within seconds.
However, it faces stiff competition from already established apps in the freight industry. Convoy offers similar services to Uber, and can bid on rates as opposed to offering flat rates, and Go99, based in Vancouver, has a similar model. Amazon is also reportedly working on a matching app at present.
Uber is promising to pay truckers within 7 days, much less than the standard 30 days companies normally need to wait. With no haggling with brokers, back and forth negotiations or hassles, Uber are marketing themselves as the middle man but not the forwarder. According to their website, they fundamentally believe that by focusing on drivers’ pain points we can solve the industry’s biggest challenges. Happy drivers means happy shippers, and ultimately everyone benefits, including the end consumers of the goods. 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.
At the moment Uber are just rolling this out in America, and it will take a long time, if ever, for it to become something that the UK uses. Taking the personal touch away from freight delivery isn’t necessarily a good thing, and being able to have someone manage your delivery is a part of the process. It remains to be seen whether they can make this as successful as their other ventures, and break into an industry that is already very well established.