Last updated on March 8th, 2023 at 08:48 am
Over the last 15 years, the world has witnessed disruptions to what many considered normal ways of doing business. The rise of software-based companies that can be accessed through smartphones was an absolute game-changer in many fields.
Uber is one of those companies that has made its mark on the world by revolutionizing how people travel within cities. The days of forking out expensive taxicab fares were numbered. The best part is, ordering a ride is a swipe away.
Now, it’s time to revolutionize cargo transportation.
How does Uber Freight Operate?
Well, Uber is best known for its shared rides within cities. However, they have branched out into other sectors of the transport industry. The most notable of these is the freight industry.
As a truck driver, you will have taken the time to gather experience by working under a company for several years. Then, as with many others before you, you managed to buy your own equipment. All that’s left is to find orders for you to haul across the country.
Finding orders can be a matter of getting contracts from companies or getting your jobs from freight brokers. This is where the Uber Freight app comes in.
Uber Freight will operate in the same manner as any other freight broker out there. A shipper will submit details to Uber Freight of the shipment they want to be made, where it currently is, and the destination. You, as the owner-operator, get to choose your assignments and go where you want to go.
Uber Freight gives you increased control over the information you will need for the job. You get to learn how much the load will pay, the weight and the kind of trailer required to handle the job, and so much more.
What this means is you can choose how you work. You can select the long-distance jobs that have the highest pay, or you can select local shipment jobs if you want to stay around your home area. This also means you will have access to a list of vetted shippers to get jobs from whenever you need them.
The Uber Freight app also works as a load tracking mechanism for the carrier and the shipper. They can get real-time updates on the status of delivery whenever they need it. The app will also make things easier for you in terms of document management. Submitting Proof of Delivery is a matter of tapping and swiping. You can then get paid after seven days, at absolutely no charge to you.
Making sense of the Uber Freight Driver App
As a companion to the Uber ride-hailing app you may be familiar with, Uber Freight is the app meant to serve the freight industry. The app is available for both Android and iOS and has a few intuitive features that you will love.
Uber Freight helps to reduce the uncertainties of the trucking industry. You may be familiar with situations where shipments were canceled at the absolute last minute, or a live load that will take a long time.
With Uber Freight, you can browse the available jobs and pick the right one for you. The job details will usually be listed. The destination, the distance, the deadhead where applicable, and the rates will be included in the details. If the listing seems like something you want to do, you can simply tap the Book Load button.
You have to be sure that you are ready and able to transport the load. Once you tap the Book Load button, there is no going back. So, your equipment and your carrier have to be ready.
Once you have used the app enough times, it will start learning the kind of loads you like and the routes you like taking. It does this through a feature they call Smart Loads. Whenever a load that matches your preferences becomes available, the app will notify you.
Submitting proof of delivery has to be one of the most improved anywhere in the trucking industry. Rather than rely on outdated methods such as faxes, you can simply take a photo, submit it in the app, and wait for your payment in 7 days.
There is an “I’m Unloaded” button in the app you tap once you are empty. Take a clear and legible photo of the Proof of Delivery form and submit it. That is all you need.
What can you expect in terms of payment and salary?
The best thing about operating with the Uber Freight app is that you can pick the loads you want to take. The Uber Freight app will list the different loads available and the details attached to those loads, such as destination, distance to be covered, and so much more.
Before you settle on a load, though, you should know that the Uber Freight app operates in the same manner as other ride-sharing apps. Whenever there is an excess supply of drivers and not enough freight for all of them, the rates will go down. However, whenever there are a lot of loads to move and not enough drivers, the rates will go up.
As an owner-operator, there are various costs associated with running a truck. These costs will determine how much you get to take home at the end of a given period. Some of these rates include;
· Operating and maintenance costs: It is safe to assume that you may not outright own the truck yet. Therefore, you will likely have a loan if you and trying to cover the cost of running and maintaining your truck. In general, the older your truck is, the more you will have to shell out for maintenance. How much fuel your trip consumes will also come into play when determining how much you will earn.
· Trip Location and Distance: It is obvious that the longer the distance you have to cover, the more the load will pay. Long haul trips tend to be more profitable than local hauling, with a caveat. The location you will be doing the local hauling matters a lot. Local hauling in big cities tends to pay much better than hauling in rural South areas.
· General status of the economy: As we have witnessed in recent years, a slow economy can mean people will have diminished purchasing power. Whenever this happens, it generally leads to fewer shipments available. This means fewer jobs for you. Whenever the economy is doing well, it is usually the exact opposite, many loads and therefore higher rates for truck drivers.
Aside from these factors, you need to look at the traditional cost before Uber Freight. Freight brokers would usually keep around 15 to 20 percent of the job’s total payout. With Uber Freight, owner-operators will get more money from their work as they have consistently taken less than 2% of the earnings from a shipment. As a carrier, you are guaranteed to earn 98% of the earnings.
You should take this information with some caution. Uber Freight has been losing money as it strives to build a large user base. These costs are subject to, and likely to, increase at some point in the future. You should take advantage of the low fees and be prepared when their fees do begin to rise.
You may also have to contend with the limited user support offered by Uber if you encounter any issues with the shipment. You may have to find alternative means to resolve a problem should any arise because Uber is not offering as much help as you might expect for this type of business.
What are the Requirements to Join Uber Freight?
As you probably already know, not every driver that is interested in signing up for the Uber Freight service will be approved for the service. So what are the requirements?
Let’s have a look.
Requirements for Uber Freight Driver.
As a truck driver, first and foremost, you will need to have a Class A Commercial driving license. A bit obvious, but it still has to be said. From there, you need to have your DOT or MC number. You also need to be an authorized carrier for you to be able to open an account.
You will also need insurance coverage. The rates are set at $1,000,000 for auto liability coverage in tandem with $100,000 for cargo liability. This is required as Uber Freight only does business within the continental United States.
If, as an owner-operator, you do not have your DOT or MC number, you could enquire if your carrier is already signed up to the Uber Freight app. A fleet owner will be able to book loads as well as authorize drivers to accept shipments.
Uber Freight Truck Requirements
Perhaps the simplest part of all of this. Signing up to Uber Freight only requires you to have a 53’ dry van or even a reefer. The other details about truck requirements are pretty vague, which is actually great for drivers. You will only be required to have a truck that is compliant with regulations.
Applying to Become an Uber Freight Driver.
Applying to become an Uber Freight driver is a simple process. This is assuming that you have a DOT or MC number or you are an authorized carrier. Here is the process;
1. Signing up.
Go to the Uber Freight sign-up site. You will need to key in your phone number, then the website will prompt you to enter details such as your full name, email address, and password. The password will also be used to sign into the Uber Freight app.
The next step is to submit the documents required. These are;
- The DOT or MC number
- A valid insurance certificate that indicates auto and cargo liability.
- Bank account information as Uber Freight pays via ACH direct deposit.
- State-level permits for intra-state carriers.
3. Sign the agreements.
Once you have submitted the document, it is time to review and append your signature to the Broker-Motor Carrier Agreement. This agreement gives an outline of the relationship as well as the legal obligations the parties will have to each other when at work together. Even though it’s obvious, it would be best to read the agreement thoroughly before agreeing to it. Seek professional help if you have to.
4. Download the app.
If all goes well and Uber accepts your application, you can then go ahead and download the application to your phone. You will then be able to sign in to the app using the email address and password you signed up with.
If you are a driver who’s currently working for a carrier that uses the application, you can still download it and sign up. They can also choose to send you an invitation via your phone number. This option will guide you through the process of signing up and using the app.
Uber Freight is on the verge of revolutionizing how goods are moved across the country. Whether they will actually be successful is another matter altogether. All anyone can do is watch and wait.
However, if the deal sounds good to you, give it a try. Even if you do not have all the equipment needed, Uber Freight has programs such as Powerloop, which provides a way for operators to rent trailers. This program is available in California, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Uber Freight Plus hopes to provide drivers with enticing discounts on items such as fuel, tires, and mobile plans.