How Uber Freight Could Change the Shipping Game
For promotional products professionals, Uber has been a bit of a boon rather than something to fear. Its drivers have picked us up from the airport and taken us to trade show locales, and it's done its fair share of branding, too. It even delivers food in some cities! But, as Uber dips its feet into more pools, it could have a greater business impact on our industry
At the end of last year, Uber announced its new program: Uber Freight. Uber is looking to build a fleet of driverless trucks, striking fear in the shipping industry.
While this not only puts truck drivers' jobs in jeopardy, it also can affect the shipping logistics companies that dispatch drivers on certain routes.
John McDermott from MEL Magazine succinctly described what Uber's role in the industry may be:
Uber is uniquely positioned to streamline the industry, though. Much like the company's ride-hailing app cuts out the taxi dispatcher and allows people to hail rides directly from drivers, Uber Freight can create a platform where shippers and truckers broker shipping orders directly with one another, effectively rendering obsolete thousands of [third-party logistics] workers. It replaces people with software, and configures a labor-intensive industry into a [software as a service] business.
Uber also acquired self-driving truck startup Otto in August.