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5/18/2017 9:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Uber Launches App-Based Freight Platform

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After surging to prominence with its ride-hailing app for car passengers, Uber Technologies Inc. is targeting trucking as its next big venture.

The company on May 18 launched Uber Freight, a mobile app designed to streamline freight booking, particularly for small carriers and shippers that still rely heavily on manual processes.

“Uber Freight is the Uber for trucking. It provides one-touch booking for drivers, which is new to the industry,” Uber Freight Director Bill Driegert told Transport Topics.

The goal, Driegert said, is to “make the lives of truck drivers better” by making it easier to find good freight, simplifying transactions and providing upfront pricing and quick payment for their work.

“In building Uber Freight, we’re really trying to bring a community of drivers together around a product that pays fairly, pays quickly and can bring some of that transparency and trust back into the industry,” said Eric Berdinis, Uber Freight’s senior product manager.

With the launch of its freight product, Uber joins several other technology firms that have introduced app-based freight platforms. That trend often has been described as the “Uberization of trucking” — a movement that now, of course, includes Uber itself.

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Other companies providing smartphone-enabled, automated freight markets include Transfix, Convoy and Trucker Path’s Truckloads app.

While Uber Freight will work with carriers of all sizes, its primary market is owner-operators and small fleets that don’t have the same technology as larger operations.

“Our app right now is targeted toward the smaller companies — the companies that don’t have access to large shippers and have a harder time finding the freight,” Berdinis said.

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By Seth Clevenger
Managing Editor, Features

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