Uber & Uber Freight Investment
It’s a huge vote of confidence in Uber’s growing freight division, even as Uber’s overall business continues to hemorrhage billions of dollars every quarter.
In August, Uber reported a record quarterly loss of $5.3 billion, much of which is attributable to one-time expenses like stock-based compensation.
Still, its revenue growth has slowed, and its path to profitability seems longer than ever.
The trucking industry is not an obvious place for Uber to direct its resources.
There has been a shortage of truck drivers over the last few years, with experts noting that there are not enough truckers to keep up with demand. This has led to a softening of the market, with prices dropping overall.
But Uber’s top executives say its Freight division shows promise. “Uber Freight continued to see impressive growth and great progress in Q2 despite soft market conditions,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an August earnings call with investors. Still, the company did not break out revenue figures for its Freight business.
Uber Freight said that the business is growing quickly, and this new office represents Uber’s commitment to Freight as it builds innovative technology to help truck drivers find the best loads for their businesses while also accelerating logistics operations for shippers.
“Uber Freight is among Uber’s fastest-growing business units,” an Uber Freight spokesperson told Jeff Berman, group news editor for Logistics Management.
“Three years on from launch, Uber Freight has scaled across the U.S. and into Europe and, today counts 46,000+ carriers in its network and 1,000+ shippers as customers, including AB Inbev, Niagara Bottling, Land O’Lakes, and many more Fortune 500 companies.”
“Since the beginning, the Uber Freight team has been composed of the best and brightest minds in technology and trucking, with Freight workforce hubs in San Francisco and Chicago, and many more employees spread throughout the U.S. and, more recently, Europe.”
As for setting establishing a major presence in Chicago, the spokesperson said that Chicago is the heart of the global transportation industry and has long been one of Uber’s biggest business centers.
“It was a natural fit for the Uber Freight HQ as we rapidly scale our world our world-class team to support Uber Freight’s growing global opportunity,” the spokesperson said.
“Uber Freight is a global business, innovating logistics solutions for shippers of all sizes across the US and Europe.
This investment in Chicago shows that Uber is bullish about Freight’s growth. Scaling the team – specifically, our engineering team – in Chicago will enable us to meet the massive market opportunity that exists today, better serving shippers all over the world.”
As for staffing at the new Chicago facility, Uber plans to hire 2,000 new employees in the region, known for its tenured trucking and technology talent, over the next three years, the majority of which will be dedicated to Uber’s growing Freight business.