Uber Freight rolls out enhancements to its shipper platform

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · July 9, 2020

With an eye on aiding small business trucking operations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Uber Freight, a subsidiary of ridesharing service Uber, recently announced it has expanded its shipper platform.

Originally rolled out in September 2018, Uber Freight describes the shipper platform as a simple intuitive dashboard geared towards helping small businesses manage logistics tasks via a singular interface. These tasks include: finding reliable capacity, budgeting for shipping costs, tracking and ensuring their goods are delivered on-time and with care.

Uber Freight officials said that the platform now serves thousands of customers across the United States and Europe, while supporting tens of thousands of loads through the full freight lifecycle. What’s more, at a time when the freight market has contracted in recent months, due to COVID-19, the company said the number of small businesses using the platform has increased by a multiple of 10 on an annual basis, coupled with onboarding hundreds of new customers on a weekly basis.

New features for the Uber Freight shipper platform include:

price itemization to improve the tendering process, which allows shippers to input more detailed load needs with hours of lead time, and lock in transparent pricing and special needs like driver assistance in advance;

streamlining end-to-end payment processes for shippers to improve invoicing and billing with instantly-accessible Billing Pages and testing expanded payment options like credit cards; and

ETAs that can now give customers real-time predictions of when loads will arrive at their destinations, and Shipment Ratings allow customers to rate their load experience on a 1-5 star scale directly in the platform

In an interview Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight said that a major driver for these new updates is to empower small business with technology and giving them the ability to do more and increase productivity.

“I am a real believer in the power and potential of small businesses…and this has allowed small businesses to have wings and fly,” he said. “In logistics, though, that can be more of a challenge and also more of an opportunity. Small businesses are often like a forgotten child, in that nobody really goes deep to solve their pain points, rather there is not enough investment into tools to help them. They probably need that the most, as in running a business time is precious. And they are spending most of their time on spreadsheets, e-mails, phone calls, and faxes. When we started Uber Freight, a big part of the focus was to help small businesses.”

Ron said the main objective of the Uber Freight shipper platform is to help simplify the day-to-day management for its small business customers, while making an extremely complex system very simple and also hide complexity.

And he added that the new feature capabilities represent a continuation of the arc of fully simplifying logistics management processes for small businesses.

“We have heard loud and clear that shippers want control and care about every load and every truck,” said Ron. “They want to make sure they have the right pricing, the right features, and full control of the load. That is what we are doing with the price itemization feature, which allows shippers to clearly express what they care about, what they don’t care about, and giving them the best price and service that fit the bill. If they want to have driver assistance…or a specific feature for the load, we allow them to express that on the platform and give them the right price, not overcharging them for any stuff they don’t normally use. That simplicity and transparency really allows them to better manage their needs and better control their costs, which is top of mind for them.”

July 9, 2020