Over 3.5 million drivers make their living shuttling freight back and forth across the United States, according to the American Trucking Association. Over 8.7 million people are directly involved in the transportation and trucking industry, with millions of others benefitting from this highly important network spanning the country.
From warehouses to stores, cargo needs to be transported quickly and safely throughout the year. Recently, Uber launched Uber Freight, a tool that connects truckers with shippers who need affordable transportation for their cargo.
Uber Freight for Shippers
Uber used their logistics and transportation technology to move from the world of public transportation into commercial trucking. They created Uber Freight, which is an application that allows shippers, carriers, and drivers to connect to move freight within the continental United States.
How Uber Freight works
As a shipper, you’ll need to create an account using the Uber Freight app. Once you’ve created your account, an Uber Freight representative will contact you to see if you have any questions or need help setting up your first shipment using the app.
Uber Freight makes it easy to schedule a shipment; once you’ve logged into your account, you just need to set your pickup and drop-off locations. Then the app will give you a price quote, and if you like the price, you can schedule your shipment with just the click of a button.
Then, truck drivers will see your shipment information and can accept your shipment details. The driver will then pick up the cargo at the prearranged time, while the shipper will receive regular updates and track their shipment as the shipment proceeds.
Drivers can take photos to document the successful arrival of the items at their final destination. Shippers can book loads up to two weeks in advance, with a minimum notice of 24 hours.
What Does Uber Freight Cost?
The Uber Freight platform uses real-time tracking of market prices to provide transparent pricing for shipping. The app utilizes machine learning to create a pricing method that reflects transportation market costs in real time.
Factors that can influence the cost of your shipment include the availability of drivers, the type of shipment you have, the distance it needs to travel, and the time of the year. Instant quotes are good for ten minutes, at which point the app will refresh to reflect changing market costs.
Prices can change quickly as the market costs fluctuate. Some shippers may be able to take advantage of longer-term contractual rates, which would lock in a transportation price and keep it that way for the duration of the contract. This could benefit shippers with regularly scheduled cargo that needs to go out.
Benefits of Uber Freight
This app is designed to streamline supply chains and connect carriers and shippers across the country to provide consistent and affordable transportation for cargo. What is essentially an Uber for trucks has partnered the expansive trucking industry with a shipper platform that allows for even more movement of goods.
Uber Freight also includes the use of Freight Insights, a tool that can be used to see where issues in your supply chain are. Other metrics that can be tracked include driver waiting times, specific load information, and long-term shipping trends.
1. Quality Screening
As the platform grows, drivers, shipping facilities, and shippers are rating one another to create an even stronger transportation system than before. The drivers that are participating in Uber Freight are all screened and rated as they deliver shipments. Drivers are checked on operating authority (what kind of vehicle they are licensed to drive), their safety rating, and their insurance coverage.
Drivers can choose jobs based on the kind of vehicle they have as well as the kind of load they are comfortable transporting. Currently, shippers can take advantage of the following options for shipping:
- 53’ dry van full truckload
- 53’ refrigerated full truckload
- Less than a truckload
The app also gathers needed documents in one place, eliminating the need for phone calls, emails back and forth, or faxes. The app tracks scheduled shipments, ongoing shipments, as well as completed ones.
This freight for shippers option can benefit mid-market or smaller shippers who aren’t willing to spend a lot of time with a freight broker on the phone, emailing, or faxing needed shipping documents back and forth.
Additionally, the instant quote option gives shippers a lot more freedom to shop around for a good price, rather than waiting for a broker to get back to them.
Downsides to Uber Freight
1. New Technology
As this is a relatively new application, there isn’t a lot of data on how many drivers are using the app, how many shippers are taking advantage of the service, or how people have rated using this experience as opposed to a regular freight broker.
2. Driver Shortage
There has been a driver shortage in recent years, which makes it difficult to find a reliable trucking company to work with consistently. However, small fleets can have a big impact when it comes to getting your cargo where it needs to go.
3. Cargo Limitations
With Uber Freight, you can’t ship hazardous, dangerous cargo that requires special transportation procedures.
Uber Freight Insurance
Uber Freight does provide shipping insurance, but it might not be enough to cover your shipment. Uber Freight requires drivers and carriers to have $1,000,000 in auto liability coverage and $100,000 in cargo liability coverage when they drive.
Cabrella can provide additional third-party shipping insurance for items that are valuable, oversized, fragile, difficult to ship, or cargo that just needs a bit more protection.
Cabrella Shipping Insurance for Uber Freight
Cabrella provides customized freight insurance solutions for your cargo. Shipping insurance shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, which is why Cabrella specializes in affordable solutions for your shipping insurance needs.
Cabrella provides comprehensive coverage, discounted prices, a pay-as-you-go shipping plan per shipment that you make, makes tracking your shipment easy through its mobile platform, provides carrier liability, and much more.