The Uber Freight app launched a little over a year ago as an application offering individual independent owner-operators a streamlined way to book loads within the tech-enabled brokerage’s universe of freight, geared toward eliminating much of the high-touch negotiation process. Today, the company has updated the app with a “fleet mode” geared toward fleets up to about 15 trucks, says Uber Freight Product Lead Eric Berdinis.
The additional mode acts on what Berdinis says is perhaps the “biggest thing we’ve heard from independents and others we’ve tried to work with: that they want to buy a second, third or fourth truck, hire drivers, and expand their business.”
The fleet mode is geared toward allowing such operators the ability to capably dispatch more than one driver within the application.
The new mode allows a dispatcher to “log in to the freight app with their own password,” says Product Manager Xinfeng Le, at which point “they can see a full list of their drivers and their availability status as well,” or which drivers are currently under load and those that are not. “From there,” Le adds, “dispatchers can assign loads to an available driver and wait for the driver to respond” to automatic push notifications that go out through the app to the driver “as a prompt to accept the load or not.”
If the driver can’t take that load, it then becomes available for others. If he can, full “information about the load is then sent to the driver,” she says.
The app remains a free download for dispatchers utilizing it with the new fleet mode.
“We’ve been testing it with a few carriers for the past month or so,” Le says. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and feedback of all types aimed at improving the product.”
Small fleets utilizing the Uber Freight app previously ran into issues when loads needed to be reassigned, says Berdinis. “They had to call us to reassign a load to a different driver,” for instance. “Those who’ve been testing [the new fleet mode] have saved a bit of time.”
Additional small fleet management functionality — whether accounting, business performance analysis or other functions — is not part of the fleet mode launch, but Berdinis notes “we’re interested in hearing feedback from our driver community” on potential other capabilities.
This article was written by Todd Dills, senior editor of Overdrive, a partner publication of Hard Working Trucks.