Uber Freight tracking
Uber Freight Shipping screen

Uber Freight offers shippers a digital path to carriers

Aug. 22, 2018
Many smaller shippers are still relying on a manual process in an ever-growing digital world. Uber Freight is trying to change that.

Uber Freight opened a new platform that aims to connect shippers of all sizes with more carriers. The new desktop program enables shippers to see instant upfront load pricing, tender a load with a few clicks and track their shipment from start to finish.

The platform was built with shippers to help transform a process that typically takes them hours to complete and often leave them in the dark on market prices and whether they were getting the right carrier, according to Stefan Sohlstrom, Uber Freight's product manager.

"In the last year and a half, I've been visiting with a ton of shippers – everyone from Fortune 500, largest shippers in the world, all the way down to much smaller shippers of the SMB (small- to midsize-business) size,", Sohlstrom told Fleet Owner this week. What we found out is there really is a split right down the middle of the market,"

The larger shippers, Sohlstrom said, have a very complicated supply chain that uses transportation management software. "But as soon as you go to the mid-market or SMB side for shippers, you actually see a lot more of a manual process. There's a lot of sticky notes, you see a lot of terminal PCs and fax machines."

Many of these smaller shippers are still relying on a manual process in an ever-growing digital world, he said. "What we found is there is an incredible amount of opportunity for us to solve the mid-market and SMB shipper problems."

So, Sohlstrom said, Uber Freight built its new platform "from the ground up" for these technologically underserved shippers. It is possible to serve these shippers thanks to the network of carriers Uber Freight has because of its app for carriers.

With the Uber Freight app, he said, the company offers transparent pricing, fast payments, and the ability for carriers to book a load with the touch of a button. Uber Freight’s new platform, which is only available as a desktop program, gives shippers of all sizes a direct connection to Uber Freight’s vast carrier network.

According to the company, shippers using Uber Freight can:

  • Tender a load in seconds: Create and tender loads with just a few clicks and reduce the time and energy it takes to book a shipment.
  • See instant marketplace pricing: Get instant and transparent price quotes for shipments. Uber Freight’s rates are based on market conditions and other factors and generated in real-time.
  • Access Uber Freight’s network of carriers and drivers: All loads tendered through the shipper platform are backed by Uber Freight’s vast and reliable network of carriers.
  • Track freight in real-time: Track shipments online at any time of day. Automatic notifications for major milestones mean no more searching through an overcrowded inbox for tracking information.
  • Streamline document management: Upon delivery, necessary documents and paperwork are automatically organized and stored for instant and future access.

The company is also guaranteeing its shipping quotes, Sohlstrom said. If a shipper builds a quote four days in advance, Uber is predicting what the truck cost will be. If that cost changes, Uber Freight will cover the difference if its quote was wrong.

The new shipping platform has been in beta testing with select shippers over the past six months. It was opened to all shippers on Tuesday.

“Uber Freight is leaps and bounds ahead of what we’ve done in the past," said Alan Burk, purchasing manager of American Tile & Stone, one of the beta testers. "Anybody who doesn’t jump on this type of platform is kidding themselves. The days of using telephones are getting fewer and farther between. If it’s easy to use and you can access it whenever you need to, it’s a no-brainer.”

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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