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Updated 21 Sep 2017


Update to Uber Freight now includes personalisation options

After receiving feedback from the users who were trial testing Uber Freight, the company has decided to take on some of the suggestions. What will this mean for your business when the app comes to SA? 


Nicole Crampton, 09 September 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


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The latest changes to Uber Freight are the result of driver feedback to create a more unique experience. “Our data science team has worked on creating these algorithms,” says Uber Freight senior product manager Eric Berdinis, “so that recommendations are continuously improving to make the user experience more personalised.”

Uber has already revolutionised personal mobility and it’s aiming to do the same in the logistics space, so you’ll need to either incorporate this app into your business model or offer your drivers a similar experience. If you don’t, you might run the risk of being disrupted when Uber Freight eventually launches in South Africa. 

Related: UberEATS plans on disrupting your food delivery business


KEY LEARNING

Uber Freight was introduced in the USA earlier this year, but it has now expanded to California, Arizona, Chicago, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. There have also been updates to the app, offering new features that personalise the on-demand trucking service app.


Here’s what you need to know about Uber Freight and how it will impact your business when it finally launches in South Africa:

Increased personalisation

The app now tracks the various load types the driver typically delivers to ensure it only recommends similar jobs in the future. “Local drivers and long haul drivers have specific wants,” Berdinis says. “Do they like loads that take them home or do they like loads that have a certain quality to them?”

The app can now filter in only the specific loads the driver is looking for, to avoid seeing jobs that a driver can’t do or doesn’t want to do. This can also help you save time when selecting deliveries, to ensure you’re always sending the right truck for the right job.

Growing demand

Uber -freight -truck -transport

Drivers using Uber Freight requested a continuation on specific corridors that they travel and Uber has obliged with its new expansion into neighbouring states. According to Berdinis the phase two expansion states were decided on because of driver feedback, which expressed a need for higher volumes of loads on connecting channels.

This allows drivers to travel further and take on more complimentary loads one after the other, instead of having to start in Texas, and turn around to come back to Texas. For you, you might be able to use Uber Freight to expand from KZN into the Free State, or beyond the borders of Cape Town. Uber Freight is said to make it easier for transporters (companies and owner-drivers) to grow their market reach for return loads.

Consistently available jobs

The amount of loads are steadily increasing allowing drivers to pick and choose from the available jobs. “Drivers like loads that they can take several of in a day, or take a load every single day,” says Berdinis. Uber plans to focus mainly on short-haul for now, as they’ve found long-haul loads aren’t consistent enough at this stage in the test programme.

He adds that Uber wants to offer transporters the experience where every time they go to the app, there is the potential for work. Should Uber Freight become a success in SA, it might impact the availability of short-haul truckers (as they look to branch out on their own) – making it challenging for you to find professional drivers for your business.

Related: 3 Strategies you can implement before Uber Freight disrupts your business

The ‘Uber’ effect

If you’re a long-haul trucking business it seems Uber has decided, for now, to stay away from this industry as the pathways aren’t consistent enough. But, with a few more months of testing this could easily be resolved, so you need to keep your ear to the ground on Uber Freight’s progress.

For short-haul transport businesses, if you haven’t determined how you can incorporate Uber Freight into your business, you still have time. But you need to make this shift or risk being disrupted by this app when it finally launches in South Africa.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Uber Freight now filters jobs by the loads drivers previously took. Now, workers will see projects that they prefer and that their vehicle can manage instead of every job available.

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About the author


Nicole Crampton


Introducing the owner-driver responsibilities & risks

Bryan Verpoort, Head of Corporate & Business Insurance at Standard Bank advises smaller businesses on the risks and considerations when contracting to transport goods for a large company.

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