You’ve probably heard of the Uber app before. Open the app, see available drivers, and reserve a ride. Within minutes, a vehicle is there to pick you up and already knows where you need to go. No phone calls or reservations, and payment is seamless. Pretty slick, but what does it have to do with the trucking industry?
Well, about a year ago, Uber introduced Uber Freight. And it’s as simple as open the app, see available loads, and book a job. But, up until now, it has only been used by owner-operators.
That all changed last month when Uber Freight introduced fleet mode. It’s an extension of Uber Freight that is focused on helping trucking fleets negotiate shipments more efficiently. And fleets are already seeing time-saving results.
What can you do with Uber Freight?Before we dive into this new fleet mode, it's helpful to understand more about what Uber Freight can do. Uber Freight is a free app that matches carriers with shippers. According to the Uber Freight website, load pricing is upfront and set. This means no haggling or back-and-forth negotiations with brokers. However, fixed rates mean drivers can't manage to negotiate higher pay for delivery.
While some drivers say they wish they had the ability to negotiate higher rates, this policy has undoubtedly resulted in quicker and more efficient shipping agreements. And given the recent ELD mandate and current HOS regulations, time spent driving instead of talking is priceless.
The part that drivers seem to enjoy most about the Uber Freight app? Fast payment. The app promises “fee-free payment within 7 days of delivery.” No more waiting months to receive payment.
How fleet mode enhances Uber Freight
Released in May 2018, fleet mode is an addition to the Uber Freight app that allows fleets to manage and assign shipments.
Eric Berdinis, a senior project manager at Uber, says fleet mode streamlines the communication between the dispatcher and their drivers. Now, dispatchers are not only able to see available loads on the app, they can also access a page that displays all the drivers in their fleet in real-time. The drivers may have a status of available, busy with another load, or offline. So, dispatchers can assign a load to an available driver and once the driver accepts; the dispatcher, Uber, and the shipper get simultaneous confirmations.
While there is no limit to the number of drivers a company can manage, Uber expects it to be used mostly by fleets with around 10 trucks.Phil DeKnight, the owner of DeKnight Enterprises, has three drivers in his fleet. In a Trucks.com article DeKnight says, “Before, I would spend a lot of time on the phone finding out more information about a load, then have to check with my drivers to see if they have enough hours to haul it, only to find out that the load’s gone. I don’t have to do that now.”
The future of digital freight
Obviously, digital freight marketplaces are nothing new. Uber Freight has been around for over a year now. And other freight booking apps, like ITS Broker, Getloaded, and Trucker Path have been on the scene for over half a decade.
But, because loads per available truck trailer have nearly doubled in the last year, (6.6 loads compared to 3.5 loads last year according to DAT solutions) shippers are actively seeking the newest and most effective ways to secure drivers. Meanwhile, drivers and carriers are constantly looking for the newest ways to increase efficiency and bottom-line earnings. These digital freight apps offer the potential to help a wide range of workers in the ever-important trucking industry.
Is your fleet looking to increase cargo equipment allocation efficiency? With dedicated teams and the ability to create custom products and custom pricing programs, US Cargo Control can get you what you want, when you need it. It’s just one reason why carriers and owner-operators across the country count on US Cargo Control for all their cargo securement needs. Visit our website or give us a call at 866-444-9990 today.