Uber is a name familiar to some of you. Instead of calling a taxi, these days it’s likely people use their smartphones to order a ride from an Uber driver who will pick them up and take them where they want to go for a decent price.
Uber is a transportation network company operating in some 570 cities worldwide, In general, it has been best known for car transportation services, though recently it has been expanding to other offerings such as food delivery mobile apps and, of interest to truckers, Uber Freight.
“Tap a button, book a load” is the first thing you’ll see when accessing Uber Freight, which can be found online at https://freight.uber.com/. Underneath that phrase it reads, “Haul the loads you want when you want. Get paid faster for every mile.”
Like Uber disrupted the business model for traditional cab companies, now Uber is giving the trucking industry “something to talk about,” for sure. Uber Freight is essentially an online platform to connect drivers with cargo. It’s meant to both upend and streamline the current process that takes place packing a truck for shipment. Instead of relying on a traditional broker to negotiate rates/book cargo, Uber Freight revolutionizes the process in such a way that drivers– who are vetted and approved– can use their Uber Freight app to find nearby cargo. The information they’ll discover also includes the distance the cargo needs to be shipped as well as payment info. If the truck driver wants to take a job he or she is interested in, they use the app to “accept the job.” Then the app leads them via map to where they need to go. Furthermore, the app takes cares of getting the driver paid rather quickly for jobs done. Rather than wait a month or more for the paycheck, Uber Freight gets truckers paid in a few days, without fees.
Interestingly, Uber Freight has competition. Amazon is also getting into the trucking app business, and they’re not afraid to deal with oceanic freight and air cargo loads, too.
Finally, in what may be bad news for truckers, Uber would like to eliminate drivers altogether. Technology is moving in a direction whereas cars and trucks could soon be “driverless.” Essentially, our entire transportation system could conceivably be run by computers/robots such that future generations would never actually have to learn to drive and/or get paid for doing so. We shall see what transpires.