Uber Freight is Uber (ride hailing service) for commercial trucks. The app connects professional truck drivers with shippers looking to transport goods over a long distance. The ride hailing company in a statement said “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’s idea is not new considering that there are startups already doing this even though none of them can match Uber’s deep pockets at the moment which gives Uber an advantage in the $700b industry.
Uber acquired Otto which is a self-driving truck startup last July for about $700m and so this is just building on it which means apart from Uber connecting drivers to shippers, it could very well partner with truck manufactures to get into the business directly itself. Three months into acquiring Otto, an Uber truck successfully made a delivery of 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer from Fort Collins, Colo., to Colorado Springs, a roughly 120-mile trip on Interstate 25. The original idea behind the Otto acquisition was to allow truck makers buy self-driving kits but it looks like Uber could be very well competing with them maybe not directly.
But Uber Freight does something to allay fears that self-driving trucks will eventually kill jobs. The United States alone has more than 3 million truck drivers and this means 3 million jobs could be potentially lost in the near future. That said analysts believe that this won’t happen in the near future because humans will still be largely needed to make long distance deliveries across the country.
Uber hasn’t said anything about involving the drivers yet in its automated trucks plan but for now Uber Freight is for connecting drivers with shippers which could change the face of delivery in its own way.
Uber Freight doesn’t seem like something that was just born yesterday because they started floating the idea last October and their Twitter account says they’ve been around at least since September 2016.
See their pricing list below;