Aug. 03–Uber Freight plans to announce Thursday that it is launching service to the Columbus area as one of its expansion markets for its on-demand trucking services.
The company, which upended traditional taxi services with the quick success of its app-based ride-sharing business, is looking to quickly grow in key markets around the U.S. after beginning service late last year in Texas.
Bill Driegert, director of Uber Freight, said Columbus was chosen along with several other locations in the Midwest, West and South because of its high density of truck drivers and interest in the service. He said it provides an efficient way for operators with fewer than 10 trucks to connect with companies in need of flexible shipping option.
He said operators of trucking services use an app to access information about shipping requests; customers looking to ship items must call the company to arrange shipment.
Service in Columbus initially will focus on shipping between Columbus and Chicago, with the company looking to expand as demand dictates.
Uber Freight said it appeals to truckers on the basis of ease of use, facilitating faster payment and offering jobs that allow them to be at home at night instead of on the road.
“We work with small mom-and- pop companies (as shipping customers)…but we also have large companies we work with who need flexible options,” Driegert said. “For truckers, we make the whole process of finding good freight and getting paid a lot less stressful.”
Uber has at least one national competitor: Convoy, an on-demand trucking service founded in Seattle two years ago, boasts Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as investors.
The Uber Freight website contains more information and contacts for the service: https://freight.uber.com/.
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