Uber Freight, launched in 2016, continues on a mission to disrupt the trucking industry. The $2.25B acquisition of Transplace in 2021 accelerated Uber Freights growth but the company continues to be impacted by changes in the economy that have driven freight volumes higher and then lower.

Through it all, however, Uber freight CEO Lior Ron, has kept his focus on one thing – technology.

Uber Freight has made a deep investment in technology, with $120M invested since the acquisition of Transplace that is focused heavily on scaling enterprise applications that span logistics software solutions, generative AI and data-enabled insights tools, as well as innovative capacity and mode expansions.

Reimagining logistics management with advanced software

  • Uber Freight is rolling out the most comprehensive update of the widely-used Uber Freight TMS since it was first launched by Transplace in 2005. The Uber Freight TMS is the all-in-one solution for planning, executing, and monitoring complex logistics operations across modes and regions, bringing shippers the time-tested expertise, Uber-grade technology, and high-quality service they need to drive their intelligent logistics forward. Initial upgrades focus on delivering a new standard of visibility, foresight, and control, “Uberizing” modules to promote ease of use and actionable data—all while expanding global, end-to-end shipment visibility across modes including rail, ocean, and air.
  • Uber Freight is deepening its investment in software solutions with the launch of Uber Freight Exchange, a powerful new tool designed to meet the evolving needs of shippers and carriers by expediting freight procurement cycles and powering rapid shipment execution. Uber Freight Exchange is a neutral platform open to all shippers and carriers—a shipper can utilize Uber Freight Exchange to run auctions with their own carriers, in addition to Uber Freight’s network of 100,000 carriers across the US. With integrated communication, simple bid functionality, and historical performance reporting, it enhances operational efficiency, fosters partnerships, and safeguards lane coverage risks in any market conditions.

Bringing the power of generative AI and machine learning to enterprise shippers 

  • Uber Freight is unveiling Insights AI, a powerful generative-AI-powered insights tool that will transform decision making in logistics and support transportation teams from granular, tactical views to more complex, strategic analyses. Insights AI will leverage LLMs to generate and surface insights from Uber Freight’s vast store of transportation data for customers.
  • Uber Freight is also leading the industry in the creation and application of AI and machine learning to drive network optimization and service improvements at scale with several new models rolled out recently, including a sophisticated ETA model, which, when combined with Uber Freight’s Probability of Late Arrival (PLA) model, helps to drive automated ‘self-healing’ workflows to improve shipper service.

Expanding dynamic capacity and freight modes, across regions 

  • Uber Freight has strategically grown the footprint of the Powerloop program to meet surging client demand for drop and hook and dedicated capacity solutions. The program has expanded operational scope from localized freight within TexasCalifornia and Georgia, to regional and over the road freight stretching across several new states including ArizonaUtahNew JerseyNew YorkArkansasMinnesotaWisconsinIllinoisIndianaOhioTennesseePennsylvaniaVirginiaNorth CarolinaSouth CarolinaFlorida, and Kentucky.
  • Uber Freight continues to gain ground as the most extensive autonomous freight network in North America with active partnerships with the leading developers and dozens of shippers moving autonomous loads on the network daily. In September, the company achieved a milestone of 100k autonomous miles driven with AV carriers on the network.
  • Uber Freight has expanded support across the North American cross-border supply chain. To meet a 20% increase in production from across the customer base, the company now has six cross-border locations between US and Mexico and over 1,000 team members throughout the region to support this tailwind.

Uber Freight has stabilized as a company and I agree with the investment in technology, especially the Uber Freight Transportation Management System (TMS). I’ve installed several of the leading TMS applications on the market and I believe in the value they can generate.

However, what’s next for Uber Freight? Technology isn’t enough.

Uber Freight Can Solve One Of The Biggest Problems In Trucking

There is a saying in the trucking industry that if you got it, a truck brought it. 76% of all deliveries are made by truck so the saying is true. What’s interesting is that with all of the trucks on the road, drivers are faced with the same problem that’s existed since trucking became an industry more than 100 years ago – a lack of parking. More specifically, a lack of parking that will allow a driver to drop their trailer and make shorter deliveries or drop the trailer so the driver can drive home or run errands.

I think Uber Freight has a unique opportunity to solve the driver parking issue because they’re the only company with the full stack of services and technology that can create an ecosystem out of parking and meet the needs of the drivers for the three things they need the most: Food, rides, technology.

Uber Freight already has a partnership with the company that is on its way to creating a network of 10,000+ parking places specific for trucks – Truck Parking Club founded by Evan Shelley.

Another truck parking company worth evaluating is Truckbays. They’re pretty stealth at what they do but I believe they’ve created an exceptional platform. Truckbays was founded by Adrian Rodriguez.

FinPark is a pay to park marketplace that allows drivers and fleets to book on demand parking reservations and receive exemplary service to secure truck parking facilities and for various classes of trucks. Contact Anthony Petitte for more information about FinPark.

Evan Shelley saw there was a need for more truck parking back in 2021 while he was doing a real estate deal. Having a real estate background, Shelley initially thought the solution was to buy and develop truck parking the traditional way. But that would require $100MM’s if not billions to make any sort of impact AND it would take 10-20-30 years to develop in any sustainable manner (without going bankrupt by overleveraging). Not to mention zoning laws, NIMBY, etc.
But after 12-18 months of talking with a lot of stakeholders in the industry, Shelley realized leveraging technology and existing space was a way to create more truck parking rapidly and give truckers the ability to have a platform to find and reserve truck parking in real time. Therefore, minimizing the amount of time it currently takes a driver to find truck parking ~55mins. According to Shelley, “Our goal is to get that down to 10 minutes or less. I believe this will require us having 5000-10000 locations on Truck Parking Club.”
“Our North Star is: Truck Parking Club helps truckers save time and fuel by efficiently finding and reserving truck parking across the US.” 
Owner-operators, small to mid-size carriers and the largest carriers in the U.S. are customers of Truck Parking Club (TPC). Large freight brokers use TPC for trailer repositions. TPC provides a lot of value to owner-operators because they can use TPC as their own personal terminal at all TPC locations across the U.S. It wasn’t possible to leverage dropping trailers to do additional loads in the past without spending hours if not days looking for a place to park and drop a trailer. An added benefit of TPC is that they offer parking options that range from hourly, daily, multi-day, weekly and monthly. Traditional locations like rest stops and truck stops only offer overnight parking in most cases.
TPC is completely self-service with a 24/7 complimentary customer service team in case of any issues. Learning how to use the app is easy.
I encourage Uber Freight to consider an investment in Trucking Park Club or acquire the company. Another option is investing in Truckbays and Trucking Park Club or acquiring both companies; this is what I would consider doing to accelerate growth. A partnership with FinPark should be explored.
Uber Freight can add the locations of the truck parking spots into their TMS. This will simplify the process of identifying which tractor/trailer should be routed to which parking spot during load optimization. Uber Freight can make the parking spots available to other carriers as well like JB Hunt, Schneider, Knight-Swift Transportation and many other trucking companies large and small.
Uber Freight can also incorporate Uber Eats and Uber into the platform. This will simplify the process drivers will have to use to order food for delivery to their location or hail an Uber to pick them up. As the number of parking spaces increases to 5,000 and then 7,000 and then to 10,000…this has the potential to become a $1B plus business for Uber Freight when advertising revenue is included.
This is an idea you definitely want to consider, Uber Freight. There are many additional businesses and services that you can develop and provide to drivers and eventually other customers if you scale the opening of parking spaces across the U.S. In addition, it will make Uber Freight a very attractive company to many truckers and shippers.
Good luck!