Get a package delivered to your house recently? There’s a good chance it traveled by truck to get there. Roughly 80 percent of all cargo in the United States is transported by the 7.1 million people who drive flatbed trailers, dry vans, and other heavy lifters for the country’s 1.3 million trucking companies. It’s an industry that’s forecast to grow 75 percent by 2026 — and it’s one Uber wants to dominate.
Today, the peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, and transportation company announced an expansion of the Uber Freight service it launched last year: Uber Freight for shippers. Starting today, small and mid-sized businesses can tap into Uber’s network of carriers and drivers from their desktop and, with a single tap, book a freight delivery.
“At Uber, we’re really good at matching supply and demand with technology and really strong operations excellence on the ride side,” Eric Berdinis, product lead at Uber, told VentureBeat in an interview. “With Uber Freight, the goal is to make moving freight across the country as seamless and easy as ordering a ride.”
The problem with freight shipments today is their “opaqueness,” Berdinis explained. There’s often ambiguity around the status of loads, the timing of pickups and dropoffs, and drivers’ delivery records.
“It requires a lot of phone calls and emails,” he said. “We set out to bring transparency and fairness to the process.”
To that end, when businesses schedule a delivery through Uber Freight for shippers, they get the prices upfront in the Uber Freight app — whether it’s a short-haul dropoff at a…