- Uber Freight, the app system that allows truckers to choose from available load routes, is expanding westward and into the Midwest, based on requests from various drivers, Trucking Info reported last week.
- The company has also created push apps to better tailor load types for drivers' preferences. The more the drivers use the Uber system, the more detailed the push will become.
- The hauling service will soon become available in California, Arizona, the Chicago-Midwest region, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Uber's updates and expansion come as competition grows among on-demand freight startups, nearly all of which are receiving billions from venture capitalists aimed at enhancing cloud-based freight platforms. Convoy, another freight start-up, raised $62 million alone in July.
Uber Freight, however, benefits from available funds thanks to Uber's deep pockets, which makes turning a profit secondary said John Larkin, transportation and logistics industry analyst with Stifel Equity Research. Larkin adds that start-ups like Uber and Convoy are merely recreating what’s already offered by traditional brokers such as CH Robinson and Coyote.
Reports about driver comfort with Uber Freight vary as well. Some drivers are enthusiastic, citing strong organization and access to a live company rep when needed. Others dislike the greater responsibility that operating without a middle man involve, since all arrangements fall to the driver. What happens if a mix up occurs? Time and fuel may be wasted, the two greatest expenses within a driver's roster of costs. Further, Uber's extra 8% surcharge may rub some drivers the wrong way, especially when older, more experienced load app companies charge significantly less.