- Uber Freight quotes and guaranteed capacity are now available to SAP Logistics Business Network users as part of a new partnership between the two, SAP announced Monday.
- SAP Logistics Business Network is used by shippers, freight forwarders, carriers and other logistics partners to manage freight and share data and insights. This marks Uber Freight's first integration with a third-party software provider.
- "Finding and booking freight can be the most expensive and often the most complex piece of the supply chain," said Hala Zeine, president, SAP Digital Supply Chain, in a statement. “This combined solution will remove roadblocks and offers a simpler, more automated approach that streamlines operations, delivers tangible cost savings and ultimately creates a better customer experience."
For Uber Freight, this partnership means validation of its technology, network and value from a ubiquitous supply chain software provider. It likely means more shippers, since a captive audience will likely reach for the nearest freight booking tool. Uber's blog post announcing the partnership said "hundreds of shippers" use the platform. The company said in a recent SEC filing it had worked with more than 1,000 shippers. SAP claims to touch 77% of the world's transactions, presenting a clear upside for Uber Freight. An SAP spokesperson was “unable” to share the number of users on its Logistics Business Network.
The partnership may also introduce an entirely new block of shippers to digital brokerage tools. As Transfix CEO Drew McElroy told Supply Chain Dive earlier this year, digital brokers aren't so much competing with each other as they are with traditional brokerage as the small digital slice of the larger freight brokerage pie expands.
Integration with existing legacy players is a common step on the path to startup maturity. Uber Freight launched in May 2017, but the corresponding platform for shippers didn't roll out until August 2018. Uber Freight is still very much a startup, even though its parent organization is headed for IPO.
For SAP, the partnership means adding a convenient and tech-enabled booking tool for its users, along with the data that comes to all Uber Freight users. Keeping all data in one place is always attractive to businesses, so as long as the integration delivers on faster booking and assured capacity and produces actionable insights, it should add value.
The question remains if this the first of many such team-ups between digital freight management platforms and digital brokers. Since the API integration is fairly simple to do, the smart money is on 'yes.'
An SAP spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive the partnership deal does not involve any exclusivity, so both parties are free to make more, similar deals.