Uber Freight: Profile of Transport & Logistics Services Firm

An Uber Freight driver.
Uber Freight works with thousands of global brands, manages $18bn of freight annually, and maintains one of the largest networks of carriers

Uber Freight – launched in 2017 as an autonomous business division within Uber – connects shippers to carriers with capacity. 

It delivers an end-to-end enterprise suite of relational logistics to advance supply chains. 

It works with thousands of global brands, manage $18bn of freight annually, and maintains one of the largest networks of carriers, which it manages with a suite of end-to-end logistics applications, managed services, and modes of transportation. 

Its operations are based on “expert-led partnerships, AI-based intelligence and next-generation logistics services for the end-to-end supply chain”, the company says.

It says that, depending on a company's needs, it can function as a 3PL, 4PL, or even 5PL. 

A 3PL is a logistics provider who is hired to manage carriers, as well as delivering services such as fulfilment and warehousing.

A 4PL is a provider that manages not just logistics, but the entire supply chain, while a 5PL is an organisation that manages other 3PLs.

Below is some advice from Uber Freight on how businesses can best leverage the power of 4PL providers. The full document can be found here.

4PL basics: Know where you want to go  Start with a basic operational assessment that looks at your organisation’s current processes, systems, software, personnel, inventory mix and other key elements of your operation. 

4PL basics: Do your research Explore the 4PL’s range of offerings, ensure that it has the right technology systems in place and that it can scale up right along with your organization as it grows. 
Find a 4PL with experience in your specific industry and talk to some of its current or past customers (preferably within your industry) about their experiences working with the 4PL.

4PL Basics: Make a site visit  With the challenges identified and data shared with the 4PL, arrange a site visit that includes all the SMEs and stakeholders who will be involved with the process. 
During this visit, Uber Freight says it “thoroughly delves into the order-to-cash lifecycle of the company’s entire process”. 

4PL Basics: Look for gaps  Uber Freight cautions that, just because a business has a process flow, that does not mean this is exactly how it operates on the ground. 

4PL Basics: Nail down ROI  Uber Freight says that, once the 4PL has the data it needs and has conducted a site visit, it will “get to work on an ROI estimate to determine whether the project should go ahead. It should also, it says, “further hone in on the scope of the work that the company wants to tackle and talk about the budget with the prospective customer”.

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