Although the Uber Freight was released in the US more than two years ago, there is still a lot of discussions around this app. Should traditional freight forwarders feel threatened? How does it transform the industry standards?
As the company recently kicked off its expansion into Europe, these questions have become even more relevant. To sort things out for you, we’ll explain how Uber Freight works and what impact it may have on your freight forwarding business.
Uber Freight in a nutshell
Simply put, the app helps to arrange transportation of goods quickly and efficiently by connecting truck drivers with shippers. Basically, Uber Freight works similarly to the classic Uber, except it’s tailored to the specifics and needs of the freight forwarding market.
In particular, to find a perfect carrier, the app will ask a shipper for the pickup and dropoff locations, date & time of delivery, as well as some basic information about the shipment. The shipping quotes will be generated automatically based on real-time market conditions such as carrier availability, distance, time of year, etc. A shipper can book a load instantly by tapping on the button with a shipping option that fits them best.
The further delivery process requires minimum management efforts from the shippers. With the Uber Freight app, they can easily schedule pickups and follow loads online throughout the way up to the destination point. Once it’s reached, necessary documents will be organized automatically and stored for permanent access.
Creating new industry standards
At first sight, Uber Freight may seem quite a simple solution but it does resolve a lot of challenges truck drivers and shippers face today. Its creators managed to address the major industry pain points, setting the bar high for all other market players.
The transportation of goods has always been associated with a lot of hustle. To organize the process, shippers have spent hours negotiating all the details with carriers. The whole process might have taken several days or even weeks.
The main idea behind Uber Freight was to modernize the freight forwarding industry, making it more oriented towards the needs of today’s fast-paced business world. The app allows shippers to deploy the shipping capacity in a few clicks, schedule shipment pickups in just 24 hours in advance, and save time they used to waste on the micromanagement of different tasks.
24/7 freight shipping management
Uber Freight allows shippers to book a load online at any time of the day or night — no need to make any phone calls to carrier’s representatives or try to do everything within the business hours. Even if some changes of the initial shipping needs occur, the app itself will notify the drivers.
On the other end, shippers have an opportunity to track their shipments around the clock. The Uber Freight app will also let them know if a carrier expects any delays or experiences some other bumps along the way.
The manual bidding process doesn’t allow for freight price transparency. In order to bid, carriers have to guess what market conditions will influence their rates in the future. Obviously, such predictions aren’t 100% accurate and, thus, a price fixed in a contract is fair neither for truck drivers nor for shippers.
One of the main benefits of the Uber Freight app is that it generates all the quotes, taking into account the real-time factors. Such quotes expire after just 10 minutes so shippers can be sure that the price they get perfectly reflects the ongoing situation on the market. At the same time, the Uber Freight quotes are guaranteed. This means that they cannot be changed once a load is booked provided that all the load details are correct.
The Uber Freight carrier network is not only vast but also reliable. The company checks the information provided by truck and van drivers using several sources which include public databases from state authorities (e.g. the US Department of Transportation).
In addition, Uber Freight requires all carriers to have 100k US dollars in cargo liability coverage. That’s why all shipments delivered with this app are insured.
So is it a threat to traditional freight forwarders?
Uber Freight is for sure a big competitor for other freight forwarding and transportation businesses. But this app doesn’t take over the logistics market, it just changes the rules of the game. Here are a few tips on how to succeed in these new market conditions:
Rethink customer expectations. Uber Freight has made them higher than ever before. To stay competitive, you should strive to meet the new standards mentioned above.
Invest in technologies. Manual work is time-consuming and inefficient. Uber Freight keeps growing in popularity because it automates many processes, making them fast and simple.
Stay innovative. The Uber Freight app is a great solution, but there is always room for improvements. By focusing on features no one has ever offered before, you can make your business a new industry leader.
Uber Freight has undoubtedly brought a lot of positive changes to the freight forwarding market. With this app, businesses of all sizes can manage their shipments fast and efficiently, receive transportation services at a fair price, and have constant access to a vast network of reliable carriers. Uber Freight has also become a driving force for traditional freight forwarders as it encourages them to embrace innovations and deliver better logistics services. For instance, you can build a similar custom software solution for your business or implement some of Uber Freight features in your existing IT systems.
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