For drivers and Canadian trucking companies looking for cargo to deliver on journeys across Canada, Uber’s trucking service just launched to allow them to find customers and freight. The company known for its ride sharing business is looking to disrupt Canada’s $68bn trucking market with their entry into the territory and its new app.
Uber Technologies Inc. announced the launch of Uber Freight, their trucking service, across Canada just before the end of October 2019. This service works similarly to their passenger app, but for Canadian trucking companies and the like, allowing them to connect with customers who are looking to move freight.
Uber makes this move after 2 years of having Uber Freight operate in the US, which has about half a million drivers from 50,000 companies as members, and follows the company’s expansion in their freight services over in Netherlands and Germany.
Uber Freight Head of Operations Bill Driegert says that Uber’s app helps the smaller carriers find customers, as they’re the ones that usually have trouble in unfamiliar markets. He says that truckers, traditionally, had to check load boards to try and find shippers, which is high friction, requires multiple runs at times, and can still lead to having an empty truck to drive around.
Uber’s app also avoids the hassle of haggling, as it presents both the shippers and the carriers with fixed pricing, varying on the date of delivery.
As for Uber itself, it takes a cut of the price in exchange for acting as a digital middleman. Driegert himself has said nothing as to how much Uber takes.
Uber Freight functions similarly to Uber, but all drivers operating require a commercial license, proper registration and appropriate equipment. As a result, most of the users are from already extant shipping companies.
Carriers and shippers also don’t rate each other publicly, with the only ratings being that of shipping facilities. Driegert explains that Uber will remove any carriers that receive serious complaints, but the general aim is to keep the carriers around due to the driver shortage that North America is dealing with. The Canadian Trucking Alliance even predicted that the shortage will go up to 34,000 drivers by the time 2024 rolls around.