Uber is trying out new ways to increase its influence in the trucking world through its Uber Freight incentive plans. One of the perks that Uber is introducing is a fuel card that will give truckers a discount of up to 20 cents per gallon from TA/Petro truck stops, and 15 cents per gallon at specific Roady's truck stop locations in California, Texas and Illinois of. The new incentive plan of perks is called "Uber Freight Plus." The card will also be good for buying Goodyear tires with a 30% discount.
Now we get to the juicy parts of the new Uber Freight Plus membership plan; after a trucker has hauled 10 loads as a member of the new program, they will be able to get a $16,000 discount when buying a new truck, and a $4,000 discount when buying a used car from Navistar. Members of the new program will also enjoy a range of discounts from 20% to 50% off of any parts bought in a Navistar center, and this holds even if they own a different brand of truck. They also get discounts on Sprint phone plans.
This new program is Uber Freight’s way to entice new drivers to sign up to Uber Freight as well as keep current drivers active in using the app. According to Uber Freight’s senior product manager, Eric Berdinis, “Every option that we’ve shipped is about how to make the drivers’ time finding loads, going about their day to day, and building a business around Uber Freight easier and easier. Uber Freight is the next frontier of helping drivers, especially small fleets, level the playing field in the world of trucking, by giving them some of the tools that they need to run their business even outside of finding loads of freight.”
Berdinis added that "We've negotiated some pretty deep discounts that we're spreading to the smallest single truck or single owner folks out there, who can now share the same kind of advantages that you have worked at a larger company, with all the same independence and control that you have by booking freight on your own with the Uber Freight app."
The new Uber Freight Plus program is not going to be a short affair, Berdinis claims that this will be an ongoing program and will most probably expand and change its perks mix over time. The new Uber Freight Plus program is aimed at increasing the flow of new members into the Uber Freight scheme so that Uber can take a major bite out of the land logistics market in the US.
Uber Freights started a year ago and had continued to offer perks and other incentives to new drivers. One of the main attractions that Uber Freight has for truckers is a smart algorithm in their app that matches back to back trucking, with preferences such as location and other specific driver preferences. One of the biggest issues that drivers have to contend with is the end of haul empty returns, which Uber is tackling so that any driver signed up with Uber Freight has an advantage over their competition.
Not all features that were present were successful, this is mainly due to the learning curve and inexperience of Uber as well as trucker's miscalculations of time and included a feature that would allow truckers to schedule four or five loads ahead of time. Some truckers did not factor in loading delays, driving issues, as well as calculating location driving time. Berdinis added "A lot of our driver's book loads kind of one at a time, because there's so much irregularity in freight. You know, a facility might take too long, or there's traffic, or there's a storm or something. That makes booking three, four, five loads in advance doesn't really make sense sometimes. So that view of all the things you have coming up isn't as useful for all kinds of drivers."
Uber, as usual, keeps its informatics hidden, so no one really knows how many truckers have signed on to Uber Freight, how many enjoy the Uber Freight Plus program and what competition is out there.