If you’re an owner-operator truck driver or shipping carrier, it can be a pain to book shipments.
Connecting with shippers traditionally requires back-and-forth negotiations over rates and contracts, as well as lots of time dealing with outdated modes of communication like phone calls, faxes, and paper forms.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were technology that modernized this process, all while allowing carriers and drivers to get paid faster?
This is what Uber has created with their Uber Freight platform. Uber Freight is revolutionizing the way the trucking industry does business. It allows drivers and carriers to connect with shippers using a convenient mobile app, transparent pricing, and easy-to-use tracking and logistics tools. It’s truly ahead of the curve when it comes to freight brokerage.
In this guide, we’re going to look at how Uber Freight works from the perspective of drivers. You’ll learn how the Uber Freight app works, what Uber Freight pays, and how to apply to use Uber Freight.
- How Does Uber Freight Work for Drivers?
- Uber Freight Driver App
- Uber Freight Payment and Salary
- Uber Freight Driver Requirements
- Uber Freight Truck Requirements
- Apply to Drive for Uber Freight
- Uber Freight FAQ
How Does Uber Freight Work for Drivers?
Uber Freight simplifies the booking, logistics, and payment process for drivers. Much like with the Uber driver app, registered users can browse available loads based on preferences like homebase, type of cargo, and shipping lanes. Using the Uber Freight shipper platform, shippers post their needs and you respond to them. You can see transparent price quotes based on carrier rates.
The whole process simplifies the job search for owner-operators. Instead of having to coordinate with individual shippers or waiting around for your carrier to send you a load, you can take action and book loads using the Uber Freight app. You have access to a reliable network of vetted shippers with ongoing business needs, so you can stay as busy as you like.
Once you’ve booked the load and are on the road, the Uber Freight app will also let you or your carrier get real time updates on the shipment status and any changes or additions that the shipper requests.
The app also simplifies document management. You can submit Proof of Delivery right in the Uber Freight app and get paid in seven days at no charge.
Uber Freight Driver App
The Uber Freight app is what you’ll use for all Uber Freight activities. The app is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. It features a clean, modern interface and automatic notifications of available shipments.
Here are a few things you can do with the Uber Freight app:
1. Book a Load With One Tap
Browsing available loads is a simple process. You can easily see the start and end destination, distance, deadhead (if applicable), and rate. If you’re happy with the details, you can tap “Book Load” to instantly book it. Be sure that you and your carrier are ready to transport the load, as accepting the load obligates you to transport it.
2. Get Tailored Loads With Smart Loads
The Uber Freight has a feature called “Smart Loads.” It analyzes your history to find loads that match your preferences in terms of lanes, cargo types, and more. When it finds a load that matches your preferences, it will automatically send you a notification.
3. Submit Proof of Delivery
Submitting Proof of Delivery is one of the most frustrating parts of transporting freight. You traditionally had to use outdated tools or even analog methods like faxes. Uber Freight eliminates all of that. You can submit proof of delivery in the app and get paid within seven days of submission.
To submit Proof of Delivery, you’ll need to tap “I’m Unloaded” within the app. You can only do this once the trailer is completely empty. After tapping this, the app will prompt you to take a photo of the signed Proof of Delivery. Make sure the photo is clear and legible. Otherwise, payment delays can result.
Uber Freight Payment and Salary
How much can you make driving for Uber Freight? This depends on many factors. Most of these factors are the same as with any other kind of freight driving job. You get paid more for increased mileage.
The prices are clear during the booking process. Much like how Uber calculates passenger fares, the rates are based on market conditions. But you can expect market prices similar to what you’d find with other shippers.
The main advantage of working through Uber Freight, then, is how much they’ve simplified the process of booking loads and getting paid. Upfront Pricing means you never have to haggle with shippers over prices – the price you see is the price you get paid.
Uber Freight jobs don’t necessarily pay more, but the increased ease of use means that you can spend more time driving and less time dealing with bookings. The fast payments also ensure that you can maintain a steady cash flow (instead of spending time chasing down paper invoices or going back and forth over the phone with shippers who haven’t paid).
Uber Freight Driver Requirements
If you’re excited by the prospect of driving for Uber Freight, then you’re probably wondering what the requirements are for drivers.
Uber Freight states that you must have your own MC or DOT number and also be an authorized carrier to create an account. You’ll also need to have at least $1,000,000 in auto liability coverage and $100,000 in cargo liability coverage (and breakdown coverage for reefer carriers). Uber Freight only operates in the continental United States.
Owner-operators who don’t have their own MC or DOT number will need to see if their carrier is signed up for the Uber Freight app. The fleet owner can then use Uber Freight’s fleet management tools to book loads and track shipments online, as well as authorizing drivers to accept loads.
This is a frustrating revelation for many owner-operators, as it means that Uber Freight doesn’t grant you the autonomy that the marketing materials promise. However, this is due to complying with the law, not Uber Freight’s specific policies. If you manage a fleet for a trucking company or other carrier, visit this page to learn more about what Uber Freight can offer you.
Uber Freight Truck Requirements
What sort of truck do you need to drive for Uber Freight? At the moment, drivers for Uber Freight must have either a 53’ dry van or reefer. Beyond that, the company is vague on their website. This is good news for drivers, since it means there are no other special requirements beyond having a truck that complies with state and federal regulations.
Apply to Drive for Uber Freight
How do you go about signing up for Uber Freight? Assuming you have an MC or DOT number and are an authorized carrier, the process of signing up is as follows:
1. Visit the Uber Freight Sign-Up Page
Go to this page. You’ll need to enter your phone number. After that, Uber Freight will prompt you to enter your full name, email address, and password. Be sure it’s a password you can remember, as you’ll need it to sign into the Uber Freight app.
2. Submit the Required Documents
With your phone number entered, you’ll now need to fill out information about your carrier business and truck. To proof all the information you provide, you’ll need to submit the following:
- DOT or MC Number
- Valid certificate of insurance (COI) evidencing auto liability and cargo liability
- Bank account information (this lets Uber Freight pay you using ACH direct deposit)
- State-level motor carrier permits or registrations (if you’re an intrastate carrier)
3. Complete the Broker-Motor Carrier Agreement
Uber Freight requires all carriers to fill out this agreement that outlines the relationship and legal obligations that both parties have when working together. Be sure to read the agreement carefully before signing it.
4. Download the Uber Freight App
Assuming Uber accepts your application, you can download the Uber Freight app and sign into your account using the email address and password you provide when you signed up online. Download the app here for Android and here for iPhone and iPad.
Note that if you’re a driver who works with a carrier that uses Uber Freight, you can still download the app and sign up. Your carrier can also send you an invitation using your phone number. This will guide you through the steps of signing up to use the app.
Uber Freight Driver FAQ
Now that you know how Uber Freight works and how to sign up for it, let’s address some common questions prospective Uber Freight drivers have.
1. What is Uber Freight Plus?
Uber Freight Plus is a program that helps drivers offset common expenses. To be eligible for the program, all you have to do is book one load every 30 days through the Uber Freight app. Here are some of the discounts you can get:
- Fuel savings — up to $0.20 per gallon
- Save up to 50 percent on truck parts
- Monthly discounts on phone plans
- Save up to $16,000 when buying a truck
Learn more about the Uber Freight Plus program.
2. Can I negotiate the rates in the app?
No, you cannot. One of the selling points for Uber Freight to both carriers and shippers is that rates are non-negotiable. Since the rates are market rate, you can be confident that you’re getting a fair price (though you should always do your own research just to be sure).
3. What shippers use Uber Freight?
Businesses of all size and types use Uber Freight. It plays a crucial role in the supply chain, and as long as the materials can legally be shipped using 53’ dry vans or reefers, Uber Freight will ship it. You could be transporting anything from beverage cans to butter to tile (to name a few examples of companies that Uber Freight lists on their website).
Get Started Driving With Uber Freight
Uber Freight is revolutionizing transportation management for both shippers and carriers. As a driver, you can take advantage of this technology to book loads and get paid with less hassle. Sign up for Uber Freight to get started.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.