According to an Uber blog post, its trucking app will reduce truckers’ stress levels and speed up payments for completed deliveries. Uber touts its new app as one that “aims to empower truck drivers and small trucking companies to run and grow their business.”
Like the regular Uber app, Uber freight will purportedly connect businesses that need freight transported with truck drivers who are available to make the deliveries.
According to Uber, truckers can locate the load they want, negotiate a price, and receive a rate confirmation in seconds.
But what about safety? Is Uber equipped to ensure that the truckers who use its app are following federal rules and state regulations that govern the trucking industry? What happens if a trucker hauling an Uber Freight load is involved in an accident that injures someone or costs another driver their life?
As another media report points out, trucking — particularly long-haul trucking — is “physically demanding and time-consuming.” There is a big difference between driving a passenger from their hotel to the airport and hauling thousands of pounds of freight across the country in a semi-truck. Truckers don’t just drive — they plan their routes, budget their trips, and perform important equipment checks on a regular schedule.
Some also question whether the same problems that have plagued Uber’s regular ridesharing service will spill over to its freight operations. Specifically, the company has battled lawsuits alleging that it treated independent contractors as employees without compensating them as employees. Uber drivers have also fought to form unions in an effort to obtain more workplace protection.