Uber Freight and How it Will Impact Shipping
This year Uber launched a new service called Uber Freight that pairs up trucking companies, including independent operators, with loads nearby that need to be transported from one place to another. Drivers are able to log into the app, which still maintains the same look and feel of Uber’s original app, to browse for nearby and available loads, see the distance required for the journey, upfront payments, view all destination information and then simply tap to book. Uber Freight is looking to streamline the communication process by integrating a simple workflow with job confirmation and rates available instantly instead of having to spend hours negotiating conversations.
Another way that Uber Freight is gaining favour and attention is through its quick-payments to small trucking companies and independent drivers. Until now, like many freelancers, truckers have had to wait at least 30 days to receive a payout, while Uber Freight is able to pay drivers “within a few days, fee-free, for every single load.” According to the company, if there are cases where payments don’t go through as quickly as stated, Uber will pay additional fees depending on the wait period.
Uber Freight and Efficiency
So far, reviews of the new service have been mixed with Uber executives claiming that their infiltration of the trucking industry is in full effect and that they already have developed a network of recurring users from a number of large businesses, such as Unilever. Overall, Uber Freight does not stand to revolutionize the trucking industry, but the service will also have far reaching impacts on other areas including supply chain management especially when it comes to expediting goods.
As a result of the manufacturing industry becoming more competitive and consolidated, many companies are moving towards models that guarantee uptime. More customers are renting equipment for a specific number of hours, buying the use of the equipment rather than the actual physical goods, which means that manufactures must be able to meet the promised product uptime. As this is now becoming an important competitive aspect, having the right service parts in the right place at the right time to be able to make repairs quickly is crucial. The use of Uber Freight could help manufacturers ensure that the necessary equipment is on site as quickly as possible, eliminating the time spent coordinating as well as cost concerns that are generally associated with expediting parts for the ‘last mile’. Furthermore, as the on-demand economy becomes the norm and customers have higher expectations than ever, manufacturers will have to adopt these new and innovative ways of doing business in order to stay ahead.
Uber Freight is not likely the last we will hear about Uber’s service ambitions; they have aspirations for eventually becoming a service that offers self-driving trucks and smartphone-based logistics. It will be interesting to see how Uber Freight impacts the trucking industry as it moves forward and gains further popularity among manufacturers. Companies who are able to successfully leverage this new technology to positively impact their end-customer experiences are bound to benefit from the overall efficiency that Uber Freight is bringing to the shipping industry.