Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let's Talk about Uber Freight

What is Uber Freight? Essentially, it’s an online platform to connect drivers with cargo. They’ve been on everyone’s radar ever since they shared their mission to cut out the middle man by directly connecting shippers with carriers, and providing real-time pricing. 

So, should freight brokers be worried? The simple answer: No. Uber isn’t the first to attempt this model. Others have tried introducing similar models with minimal disruption to the traditional industry.

But hasn’t Uber proved their ability to be super successful? Yes - Uber has been a huge success because they created their own market in ride sharing. However, they did not create this market, in the much more complex freight world, and all the major players have already developed apps that do essentially the exact same thing that Uber is trying to accomplish. 

There are certain things that freight brokers bring in value that the Uber model cannot replace. Technology can’t offer the same level of accountability, accuracy, pricing, and trust, that the broker can. Don’t get me wrong, you do have to watch out for any company that can build anything and can buy what they don't build. However, like most top tech executives, I don’t believe that Artificial Intelligence and new technology will ever replace the person. It will, however, improve the process - as technology tends to do.

What about Uber’s self-driving trucks? Is this bad news for truckers? Uber has been relatively silent on the status of this project, but I wouldn’t panic quite yet. Although we will likely see these trucks on the highway in the next decade, the road to self-driving truck automation is a long haul - with many tests to be done and legal battles to be resolved. And, even when that time comes, there will always be a need for a human in the driver's seat. 

I’d love to hear what you think about Uber Freight and their mission. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments. 

Moving Forward,

Jeff Roach


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