It’s been a landmark year for Uber Freight and for the freight industry. Last month marked one year since our official launch, and it’s been a busy 12 months. We’ve made incredible progress and heard incredible stories, and we’re not done innovating. Not by a long shot.
The freight transportation and logistics industry fuels the U.S. economy. As consumers, almost every tangible good we interact with has been handled by truck drivers. These drivers are at the heart of the economy, and at the heart of everything we do at Uber Freight. Our mission has always been to help them build healthy, thriving businesses.
The U.S. economy has been growing rapidly — at more than a 3% annual pace in the last 9 months of 2017 — and the freight industry is booming as a result. This surge has created a swell of freight demand, but there are pervasive inefficiencies that make it difficult for the industry to keep up.
Today, trucks on U.S. roads are driving empty nearly 20% of the time, and shippers often struggle to find available drivers to move their goods. Carriers and their drivers can spend hours of their day on the load booking process — searching load boards, making phone call after phone call to negotiate the rate, then waiting hours for confirmation.
With Uber Freight, we wanted to deliver a true tap-to-book freight experience for carriers and their drivers (Uber’s own “Uber for trucking” app). We also wanted to offer transparent pricing, fast payment and the best customer service.
We’ve also partnered with Navistar to offer active Uber Freight app carriers exclusive and meaningful discounts on both the maintenance and purchase of a new or used truck. These offers will help trucking companies extend the lives of their trucks as well as scale their fleets more efficiently.
Expansion across the U.S
When we launched last Spring, we were focused on bringing Uber Freight to select regions in Texas. A few months later, we expanded into several states, including California, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, and the Carolinas, where more than a quarter of of the country’s truck drivers prefer to operate. Now, just one year later, we’re excited to say that we’ve powered connections between carriers and shippers across the continental U.S..
Combining the best of Uber’s technology with deep industry and logistics expertise, we’ve created significant opportunities to optimize drivers’ time and reduce the number of empty miles they drive. By helping to pair carriers and their drivers with the right type of load, headed in the right direction, at the right time, we’re transforming a historically inefficient supply chain while creating opportunities for truck drivers across the country.
We couldn’t have done this alone. Carriers from all over the country helped shape our product into what it is today, inspiring new features like Take Me Home, and programs like Uber Freight Plus, that truly add value to drivers’ day-to-day lives. Every initiative we’ve launched in the last year has been informed by user feedback and conversations. That’s not going to change any time soon.
While we’ve made a lot of progress in these 12 short months, we know there’s still a long way to go and we’re hard at work listening to our carriers and their drivers, improving our products, and working to streamline the user experience. We’ll see you on the road!