By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Uber Freight is going global.
Well, it is going to start in Europe initially, Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, wrote in a blog post that was published yesterday. Uber Freight is known in freight circles as the ubiquitous, ride-sharing service’s app that matches trucking companies with loads to haul.
Paul explained that the inroads Uber Freight has made in the United States since formally entering the market in 2017 are exciting, with the caveat that the company has long recognized that freight logistics is a global industry and an integral part of the world economy.
Uber Freight will first establish European operations in the Netherlands in the coming weeks, wrote Ron, with local carriers and drivers able to book and move loads with Uber Freight, at which point the company intends to expand access to European regions thereafter.
The Uber Freight executive added that its European expansion makes a lot of sense, as the European freight market is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world, and he noted that, like here in the U.S., the European market is also highly fragmented, with small-to-medium-sized carriers comprising more than 85% of the total carrier base, making it hard for small carriers to meet shipper needs without technology-based help.
“The expansion of Uber Freight into Europe is an important first step toward bringing our vision for an efficient and transparent freight marketplace to the international stage,” Ron wrote. “As we grow, we will endeavor to be a reliable partner to European carriers, shippers and everyone who’s working to build a bright future for Europe’s logistics industry.”
Uber Freight’s European expansion makes a lot of sense for the various reasons outlined by Ron above. It goes without saying that the digital freight matching (DFM) market is both crowded and competitive, so making inroads into Europe helps the company lay out its plan for taking things to the next level, internationally, for certain.
In regards to the competitive aspect of the market, Uber Freight Director of Operations Bill Driegert highlighted it in detail, in a May 2018 interview with LM, explaining what he thinks separates Uber Freight from the rest of the pack: “We are familiar with the many players out there and what they bring to the table. Uber Freight is unique, and I think we bring a deeper depth and technological capability, exceptional operating ability and resources that our competitors would not have access to. And as a result, I think we have the most sophisticated marketplace, and our approach is unique because it is real time with fixed prices, and it is unique in its access to capacity. It is very difficult for a lot of our competitors to replicate what we have unless they build it from scratch, and that is the advantage we have. We are in it for the long haul, and are very driver-centric, as it is all about empowering the drivers, making them more efficient, and improving their revenue. That makes it a compelling product for shippers, because they know they have immediate access to this high quality driver pool. That was very much our focus early on, and all of these things have a big impact.
That said, it stands to reason that Uber Freight’s many competitors will also follow suit, and when those things occur, we will provide you with information on those developments on this Website and in the print edition of Logistics Management, too.