Independent Truckers Eye Uber Freight App, Question Rates

May 19, 2017 by Clarissa Hawes

Truckers are intrigued by the launch of Uber Freight, but they want a lot more details about pricing and how the cloud-based, on-demand, full truck-load freight brokerage will work before signing up.

Independent truckers told they would like to be able to negotiate rates – something Uber doesn’t allow for now – and they want to know if the division of the ride-hailing service will expand beyond traditional trailers to include flatbed and step-deck freight.

“I signed up for Uber Freight this morning because I believe that the more tech tools I have in my toolbox, the better armed my business is to compete for success,” said Jimmy Nevarez, an owner-operator from Chino, Calif.

Nevarez said he believes using apps like Uber Freight to book loads will help keep his two-truck operation running.

He currently uses another freight app called Convoy, which allows him to “bid up,” or negotiate a higher rate on a load if he feels he can’t be profitable with the given rate.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies has been testing Uber Freight for van and refrigerator deliveries since September, starting in the Texas Triangle area between Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, and launched it nationwide Thursday.

The company believes it can apply its technology matching drivers with passengers in urban areas to placing freight with truckers.

Hours after the launch, Uber Freight Director Bill Driegert told the website was “getting tons of traffic,” but declined to comment about how many drivers had signed up to use its new app.

The new app matches motor carriers with shippers by tapping a button and instantly booking the load truckers want on a first-come, first-serve basis if they agree to the price.

However, Uber Freight is only offering a flat rate for hauling its loads for now – there’s no negotiating. But, Driegert said that the company is taking its flat-rate policy “into consideration about how we can improve the app in the future.”

If the rates are fair and he can make a good profit on the load, Nevarez said he is willing to give Uber Freight a shot.

“If I can sustain a profit, I am willing to give Uber [Freight] a try,” he said. “But I refuse to settle if I know I am not going to be profitable on a load – I have set certain standards for myself.”

By 2020, Nevarez said he hopes to have 10 trucks in his fleet.

Ronnie Sellers, a trucker from Knoxville, Tenn., said Uber’s pledge to pay within seven days is enticing enough to want to learn more about the freight app.

Ronnie Sellers and his truck

Ronnie Sellers and his truck. (Photo: Ronnie Sellers)

“Right now, I am getting paid about 30 to 35 days out for a load I haul for a broker,” Sellers told “And there isn’t anything I can do about it because if I complain, I lose out on future loads. Getting paid in seven days would be nice.”

Sellers, who has only been an independent trucker for about 15 months, said he wishes he could build direct relationships with customers, but so far he has had to rely on freight brokers for business. It can take years for independent drivers to build up a client base, he said. But freight apps like Uber Freight might be an option to grow more quickly.

But without changes, it will shut out truckers such as Joey Slaughter, an owner-operator and step-deck trailer driver from Ringgold, Va. The freight app doesn’t provide jobs hauling construction equipment, building materials or military freight.

“I’ll be watching for when they do,” Slaughter told

Uber Freight is only dry van and refrigerated freight for now, but could expand to hauling other freight in the future, Driegert said.

Driegert said the approval process to sign up with Uber Freight takes less than 24 hours to complete. An interested trucker must enter their motor carrier number, Department of Transportation number, insurance information, type of equipment they have and region of the U.S. where they want to operate.

When truckers open an account on Uber Freight, they’re added to a database of freight haulers. When shippers need a load moved that matches a driver’s equipment and location, details about the load show up in the driver’s Uber Freight account. The driver can then click a button on the mobile app to accept.

Prior to Uber Freight’s nationwide launch, Driegert said he spent days at truck stops in Texas talking to truckers about what they wanted to see in the company’s freight app.

“The message that we want to send is that we are driver-centric, and as we are building the application we want to make it a better experience for the drivers,” Driegert said.

Read next: Uber Jumps into the Trucking Business

15 Responses

  1. Ray West

    Anybody who doesn’t let you negotiate your rate does not sound very driver-centric to me

    • Mm

      If you take Uber load’s in the future you gone lose your jobs they did this at 100%to taxi driver they gone drop the price up to when you can not
      be payy even for maintenance of your truck

    • Sylvia

      You are right Ray… I am having an issue with this company (UBER FREIGHT), we booked a load from OH to VA, (293 miles), but the shipper took to a long time to give us a Door. so when they gave us the door, we call UBER FREIGHT and tell them that if we load at that point we didn’t have hours to drive and meet the appointment. They said, that no matter because they will let the cosigner to know our ETA, but, when we get the delivery, obviously late, they cosigner said that we need a NEW APPOINTMENT… and we have five hours waiting for the new appointment, and when you call they just take notes and send emails, it is not personalized, so any time you call UBER you will speak with a new agent who is going to read last notes and send a new email to somebody…

      The last time the agent told me that I have two options
      1. Wait until they can make a new appointment
      2. Return the load to the shipper

      What do you think that we have to choose?

  2. Moses Mubiru

    Basically Uber Freights is as a major Brooker on the side. How can a guy with 4 trucks benefit? Does the app include other categories like fuel accounting, GPS, and real time truck trailer location?

    • John

      I think Ridebidz offers all of that. I am told it will launch June 1, 17 after a lot of testing they say it will be the best app? I don’t know we will see I guess.

  3. Chris Thomas

    I just don’t see this being a viable option for anyone’s operation unless you just like to starve to death. Technology can be good, I just see a lot of bad out of it recently though. Trucking has too many variables to just throw software at it and expect an acceptable result.

  4. Sergey K

    The Apps like Uber or Doft or CargoX are really interesting. Still imo the truckers will prefer to deal with brokers, because of the negotiation opportunity. And the other reason why it will be really hard to make the uber-for-trucking model work will be that the service is on-demand. 85% of broker’s loads are pre-booked, so only the worst are posted on the loadboard and in such kind of apps.

  5. Keith R.Randall

    I am currently driving a big rig as a company driver, I have a 1 ton dually and wanting to haul freight in the western states. Would Uber freight a good place to start ? If not what would be a good recommendation ?

  6. Keith R.Randall

    I’m interested in any information regarding hauling medium truck freight. Example 1 ton dually w/flat bed trailer. Western states.

  7. H. Dominguez

    Decided to give Uber Freight a shot. We’ve hauled a few loads with them and the one I’m on now is the last.

    When you book a load through the app there are times where you have to call in to get the rate fixed because you agree on a rate and they send you a ratecon with a lower rate. If you don’t pay attention you will get screwed.

    The representatives are clueless. I currently have a pallet in my trailer that the receiver refused, its been over 24 hours and these people still do not know what they want to do. They are giving us problems because they do not want to pay to redeliver however said if we throw the pallet away we will be sued. It is bad enough that they do not allow negotiations for the rates through the app but the simple nerve to think we are obligated to redeliver for free?! It’s a joke… Now they are offering redelivery for $100 on over 200 miles. JOKE.

    Some people prefer Uber because of the app to avoid speaking to reps… but this is business. You should be able to negotiate and get paid decent money for your work!

  8. Violet Thompson

    I came to know about the Uber freight app through this blog. I think it is good for both the carriers as well as shippers. Uber is a global brand and its new app will surely prove beneficial. But I feel the companies like Uship, may offer more price to drivers.

  9. Nirav

    Uber is just taking the market to the next level, and with this Uber Fright, it has moved Trucking and Freight industry to the mobile apps.
    Uber Fright lacks the feature of price negotiation, this laid it back. More apps like this should be made which includes features where a user can filter different transport requirements based on the price and amount of load they want to transfer.


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