When you think about the transportation industry, you often think of multinationals and companies operating thousands of trucks. In reality, though, most of the trucks you see on the roads today are owned by small companies with five or fewer vehicles. For years, many of these “mom-and-pop” businesses struggled to make ends meet because they lacked the tools and connections to easily engage with big manufacturers, retailers, distributors and other large shippers.
Now, with the arrival of Uber Freight, carriers have a way to connect with these enterprises electronically and easily line up loads using the Uber Freight app. Drivers can book a shipment with just a few taps and eliminate the hassle of back-and-forth negotiations using phone calls and faxes. Carriers can haul loads on a range of trucks, from flatbeds and dry vans to refrigerated “reefers” and choose their preferred route and load type.
For large shippers, Uber Freight came along at just the right time, giving them the ability to better manage the surge in freight demand they’ve been facing recently. Shippers can connect with truckers on the Uber Freight marketplace to plan, book, and track every shipment. Through the app, shippers can secure a truckload in real time with guaranteed capacity behind it, giving them greater flexibility and control.
“The experience that Uber brought to the rides market and personal transportation market was largely absent from the trucking business,” says Bill Driegert, Head of Operations and Cofounder of Uber Freight. “At the core, we are just trying to make the market more efficient.”
Shippers can now connect with carriers even more easily through the integration of Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) and the Uber Freight API. “OTM is the system of record for many transportation customers around the world,” says Derek Gittoes, Vice President of Product Strategy and head of Oracle Transportation Management. “Enterprises use OTM to plan and execute billions of dollars and millions of shipments around the world every year.”
With the direct integration of the Uber Freight API with Oracle Transportation Management, shippers can tap into a marketplace of carriers ready to provide extra freight capacity at a moment’s notice. It gives shippers instant visibility into real-time pricing and carrier capabilities, such as refrigeration and industry certifications, so they can find the best hauler for each shipment. They can see and lock in rates from the app in minutes, resulting in reduced overhead costs and more flexible operations.
Many shippers have already seen significant efficiencies using this integration. One multinational consumer products company now manages 30% of its freight through the Uber Freight API and has reduced total transportation costs by 5%.
When using real-time pricing instead of RFP and spot auction, shippers save, on average, 10% or more per load. Similarly, the savings from access to real-time pricing versus contract pricing can be as much as 5%. Other benefits include auto tender acceptance and operations teams that are readily available for support.
Today, if carriers want to work with Uber Freight, they can simply log on to the platform and sign up without ever having to make a phone call. As a result, Uber Freight has seen huge success bringing more and more carriers on the platform. These include a diverse group of drivers from North America’s Punjab, Polish and Hispanic communities, a growing contingent of young digitally native drivers, and other operators who are just dissatisfied with the traditional brokerage model.
Once they’ve signed up, truckers can get access to a wide range of resources and guidance, including weekly route planning tools, payment schedules, and timely information, such as what stops along the way offer the cheapest fuel and tires. Uber Freight was also first-to-market with an online ratings feature that lets drivers post reviews of transportation facilities, resulting in improvements to many of the pickup and delivery locations they visit.
Sustainability and transportation efficiency go hand in hand. Using Uber Freight and Oracle, companies can better plan their routes to optimize fuel efficiency—which not only saves on energy costs, but helps protect the environment by minimizing waste and pollution.
“One of the biggest challenges is the number of miles that are driven empty—in other words, trucks driving without any loads,” says Gittoes. “We help companies be more efficient in how they optimize their routes so that fuel is used at maximum efficiency.”
Uber Freight is exploring renewable diesel programs with some of its haulers and expects to see more of its drivers adopting electric vehicles. “This could ultimately transform the entire transportation ecosystem,” says Driegert. “The frontier is a truck that can go 600 miles on one charge and recharge in under 10 minutes.”
Together, Uber Freight and Oracle have been focused on building out shipper capabilities and embedding new transportation technologies into shippers’ core operations. Overall, the Uber Freight integration with OTM leads to a more efficient and stable supply chain, which is especially critical through periods of disruption. The pandemic has had a huge impact on many businesses and supply chains, and it's really demonstrated the value of having the right technology at the right time.