Uber attacks the road transport

Uber, the car-rental service with driver, has launched a new application that allows its users to hire the services of truck drivers to transport goods and parcels.

Launched in the United States, Uber Freight works like the traditional Uber: it focuses on the relationship of drivers of heavy trucks professionals and their employers with people who want to rent their services for deliveries.

“It allows you to eliminate the search and booking of goods, which are often the most stressful part of the day of a driver,” said Uber in a blog post. “This required several hours and many phone calls can now be accomplished by pressing a button”, adds the company based in San Francisco.

Drivers must submit to an evaluation and meet certain conditions to participate in this new service, according to Uber, which has not provided details on the modalities of this control.

The transport scan

The service of car hire with driver (VLC) has recently expanded its offerings by launching deliveries of food (Uber Eats) and participating in the development of an autonomous car with its subsidiary, Otto. According to the firm CB Insights, investments in channels and logistics platforms accounted for $ 7.7 billion last year in a sector dominated by giants UPS and FedEx.

“The new application cargo Uber is directly aimed at the market for the transport of cargo by truck, but courier services like UPS and FedEx certainly monitor closely this development,” says Kerry Wu, an analyst at CB Insights.

According to another analyst of the firm, Alex Paci, the freight transport sector is in the process of scanning after “having long been described as still using paper and pencil and as fairly disorganized, especially in the area of the support and of the door-to-door”.

Bad image

The retail giant online, Amazon has also launched its own cargo service and could become a true logistics company combining transport by road, air and sea.

If the prices have not been announced, and the chosen model for Uber Freight will be of the same type as the one that allowed him to prevail in the sector of car rental with driver, offering lower prices than taxis.

But Kerry Wu recalls that Uber currently suffers from a poor image, especially with respect to its own drivers, and that there are already companies present in this sector as Cargomatic and Convoy. “All companies in this sector hope to be able to upset the traditional model. The transportation of freight is becoming a real field of battle of technology”, he says. (afp/nxp)

Created: 20.05.2017, 02h20

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