Uber Freight is planning to begin international operations in Europe. The company said on March 18 that, similarly to how it started up in the United States, it will begin operations in The Netherlands with plans to expand to more countries on the continent in 2019. Holland was selected as the launch country due to its “dense logistics hub connecting Europe.”
Starting in April, carriers onboarded with Uber Freight will begin to access loads directly from shippers in Europe, said the company.
Uber Freight stated that, “Much like the U.S. freight market, the European Union ecosystem is highly inefficient and ripe for technological improvement. The EU truckload market alone is a $400 billion marketplace (the third-largest in the world after China and the U.S.), yet it takes dispatchers and drivers multiple hours – sometimes even days – of administrative work to book a single load.”
Elaborating on the move, Head of Uber Freight Lior Ron pointed out that European shippers and carriers have “many of the same pain points as their U.S. counterparts and can benefit from the technology Uber Freight has developed.
“For example,” he continued, “the European trucking market is experiencing a severe shortage of drivers, and of the time drivers are on the road, 21% of total kilometers travelled are empty. Inefficiency of this scale results in shippers struggling to find available drivers to move their goods."
Ron also noted that small- to medium-sized carriers in the EU make up more than 85% of the total carrier pool and “just like in other international freight markets, they experience the most difficulty connecting with larger shippers. When you combine these shortcomings in the market, the price of goods goes up.
“A more efficient and transparent freight marketplace is something Uber Freight can bring to the table that will pay dividends to all,” he added, “as well as reduce wasted miles and fuel.”
Launched in the U.S. two years ago, Uber Freight provides an app that can connect trucking companies of any size with loads to haul, giving drivers upfront pricing, fast payment and the ability to book a load with the touch of a button, the company noted. Uber Freight gives shippers access to a network of carriers as well as real-time visibility into the status of their freight.