Uber launches freight service app

Uber is aiming to bring the convenience of its ride-hailing app to the logistics industry.

The tech company has launched Uber Freight, a US service that allows shippers to tender and book freelance truckers through a smartphone app. It provides firms with one-off truckload deliveries of dry and refrigerated goods.

Uber says it offers increased transparency over price and takes the hassle of negotiation out of the process. “What used to take several hours and multiple phone calls can now be achieved with the touch of a button,” the firm said.

The app also handles payment and promises to pay carriers within days at no extra cost to the shipper.

In the US roughly 70% of freight by weight is moved by trucks, and the industry accounts for 81.5% of the country’s total freight bill, according to the American Trucking Association.

This is not Uber’s first foray into the freight industry. The firm owns self-driving technology company Otto, which is currently trying to apply its technology to autonomous trucks. However, Uber made no mention of using self-driving technology in Uber Freight.

US start-up Doft also offers an app-based “truck sharing Uber-like technology”, which pairs shippers with drivers.

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