Uber is launching an on-demand freight platform in Germany, the company announced on July 24. This will be Uber Freight’s second launch in Europe after the platform went live in the Netherlands earlier this year.
Uber Freight is already an established trucking service in the US, where it connects 48 states and generates over $125m in quarterly revenues. If its execution in Germany is successful, the company plans to expand across Europe.
Uber Freight is already an established trucking service in the US, where it connects 48 states and generates over $125m in quarterly revenues
The trucking market in Europe is worth approximately $500bn. It is a sector ripe for innovation on account of its many logistical bottlenecks. On average, trucks are empty for 21 percent of the distance they travel and even after delivery trucking firms can spend weeks chasing invoices.
Working alongside the enterprise cloud company SAP, Uber has developed a logistics solution that includes real-time tracking of consignments and seamless data sharing between shippers, freight forwarders and carriers. Meanwhile, carriers can select loads that suit their needs and fit their schedules.
However, Uber is far from the sole player in this market. Germany’s trucking sector is already home to digital-first start-ups such as Flexport, which raised $1bn in funding this year and has garnered support from investors like the Softbank Group. Uber will be trying to gain a competitive edge over these successful local players.
In the past, Uber’s operations in Germany have caused controversy. When it initially tried to launch its ride-hailing services in the country, it ran into disputes with taxi companies and lawmakers.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been careful to involve German officials ahead of the new platform’s implementation in the hope that this will ease Uber Freight’s launch in the country.