Uber now is getting into the trucking game.
The embattled ride-hailing company announced Thursday that it was launching Uber Freight, an app that connects professional truck drivers with shippers looking to transport big loads over long distances.
“We’ve been in stealth since late last year, moving loads in Texas and a few other places,” says Eric Berdinis, senior product manager for Uber Freight. “Uber pioneered the notion of ‘press a button, get a car,’ and now we want to create ‘press a button, get a load.'”
This trucking middleman role, which has largely involved a cumbersome scheduling process anchored to phone calls, is being targeted for a technological overhaul by other companies that promise to bring efficiency and reliability to the matchmaking task.
But where startups such as Ghostruck target consumers, Uber Freight is appealing to the nation’s massive professional trucking industry, whose 3.5 million truck drivers move 10.5 billions of tons of freight annually, according to American Trucking Associations.
That’s a space that Amazon also is rumored to be getting into as a way to help reduce its own massive shipping costs. Other startups looking to supplant the old-school dispatcher include Convoy, Cargomatic and Trucker Path.
“We take the guesswork out of finding and booking freight, which is often the most stressful part of a driver’s day,” Uber said in a Medium blogpost.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Marco della Cava