Uber Freight is the ride-sharing company’s app for truck drivers. According to Uber’s website, the app’s mission is “to empower truck drivers and small trucking companies to run and grow their business.” The app helps connect carriers with loads; drivers view available jobs through the app and can sign up for them and receive confirmation almost instantly. Each job page in the app displays the departure and arrival points, the size of the load, and the mileage. And, just like regular Uber, the price for the ride is set before the job is completed.
The service launched in May and has recently expanded from Texas to Arizona among other states. According to a company spokesperson, Uber chose Arizona as one of its new locations because of its high freight density and number of truck drivers.
“We chose to expand our focus into metros across several new states, including Arizona, because that’s where drivers told us they wanted to see more freight volume,” said Bill Driegert, director of Uber Freight. “Arizona supports a lot of freight moving around the country, and because a lot of carriers are building their businesses in the state, introducing Uber Freight will be an opportunity to help empower these business owners.”
Arizona resident, longtime truck driver, and owner of Circle H Intermodal Limited Partnership Edward Hampton said Uber Freight makes his job much more convenient.
“In my years of experience in driving, you get loads from dispatchers or brokers and it’s never right—the customer is wrong, the shipper’s wrong, the cell phone number’s wrong,” he said. “Here at Uber, they get everything right.”
He said before the app, information about loads obtained from dispatchers was often inaccurate, which made drives more frustrating and stressful. Having all of the important logistical information stored in the app makes it easy to clearly communicate and settle disagreements if need be.
The app makes it easier to find loads in the first place because it saves each driver’s preferences and gives them personalized results based on their past loads, location, home base and other factors.
It’s also much easier to get help if a problem arises, Hampton said. Uber offers 24/7 access to customer service, whereas most trucking companies aren’t open all day and are not easily available by phone.
“I can call them 24 hours a day, but you can’t call a trucking company 24 hours a day . . . Uber you can call 24 hours a day and reach someone,” Hampton said. “The service is tremendously dependable. They’re always polite and nice.”
Besides making jobs easier, Uber Freight also saves drivers money, Hampton said. Normally brokers take a percentage off of the job’s pay, while Uber does not currently charge any fees per job. Booking jobs through Uber also ensures speedy delivery of pay, while trucking companies often handle payments more slowly than drivers would like—Uber says payments not handled through their service typically take 30 days or longer.
Dreigert said Uber is “excited about our growth in Arizona,” but has no statistics on how many users or rides there have been so far.
Uber Freight is now offered in California, the Chicago-Midwest region, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina along with Texas and Arizona. Drivers interested in signing up for the service can do so here.