Uber is breaking into the commercial trucking industry — and no, that doesn’t mean it’s set up an app for hitchhikers needing a ride across the country.
Uber Freight is, quite literally, Uber for commercial trucking. It’s meant to pair trucks with trailers that need to be hauled. It promises one-click signups for its users, with upfront pricing that shows just how much a particular load is worth.
The hope is that this simplicity will appeal to independent owner-operators who would rather skip the frustrations of brokers and negotiations.
Best of all, payment is guaranteed within seven days. There’s no waiting a full month for the money to arrive. And, in the event that unforeseen circumstances pop up, Uber Freight has published a full list of “accessorial” charges in a blog post. Transparency seems to be the name of the game here.
Uber isn’t the first company to think of this, though. Venture capital is pouring into other startups determined to upend the freight industry’s status quo such as Loadsmart and HaulHound, as Trucks.com notes. Uber Freight lacks a few bells and whistles that other startups offer, such as fleet management services and point-of-interest maps that show drivers where they can find food and rest stops.
Uber Freight might be new, but its parent company is throwing some serious weight behind it. It’s already opened up a second office in Chicago (the first was in San Francisco), and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. That’s good, because between its various scandals and lawsuits in 2017, Uber could use a feather for its cap.