How Will Uber Freight Affect the Trucking Industry?

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Uber made history once when it reimagined the taxi industry and created a way for riders to hail vehicles on-demand from any location. Since the debut of Uber and its rideshare industry competitors, the taxi sector has struggled to survive. Now the San-Francisco based rideshare company may be doing it again with its latest innovation, Uber Freight; only this time it is the commercial trucking industry that may be headed for change. The unveiling of Uber Freight is making many truckers, carriers and shippers wonder how it could disrupt the industry.

What Is Uber Freight?

Uber Freight is an app that matches truck owner-operators with loads to haul through a convenient smartphone app. The head of the app’s development, Eric Berdinis, says Uber Freight differs from other load-matching apps because of its ability to instantly book loads for users. Rather than a driver having to call to find out if a posted load is real or still available, Uber Freight does the work for all parties involved. Uber Freight also promises a seven-day driver payment guarantee – a significant improvement from the 30 to 90 days most truck drivers today must wait.

The goal of Uber Freight is to make commercial trucking more efficient for everyone involved. On-demand matches can move loads quicker and eliminate downtime for drivers, owner/operators and small fleets. Drivers can book their loads instead of waiting for carriers to assign them. Uber Freight can also cut out long payment gaps – something that could potentially inspire new truck drivers and end the critical shortage the industry is currently experiencing. Since Uber recently halted its work on self-driving trucks, the Uber Freight app could be a better solution to the truck driver shortage.

Who Is Liable for Accidents Involving Uber Freight Drivers?

Uber is notorious for rejecting liability and fighting lawsuits against it for accidents involving its rideshare vehicles. Since Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors in Florida, it does not absorb vicarious liability for its drivers’ actions. Uber Freight works the same. Drivers working for Uber Freight may end up individually liable for the accidents they cause. For this reason, Uber requires all carriers working with Uber Freight to carry at least $100,000 in liability insurance for cargo. Cargo liability insurance will pay to replace damaged or lost cargo from in-transit truck accidents.

When it comes to coverage for injuries in an Uber Freight accident, Uber’s insurance policy may cover damages for victims if the driver was logged into the Uber Freight app at the time of the accident. This coverage will not pay for the driver’s damages – only the victim’s. The truck driver may have to seek damage reimbursement from his or her personal auto insurance provider. Since Uber is not technically the driver’s employer, it will not be responsible for truck driver injuries or losses in most cases.

If you are involved in an accident of this nature, Kelley | Uustal can help, our Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers will protect your rights and fight for fair compensation.

What You Need To Become a Driver

If you want to join the Uber Freight movement by becoming a driver, sign up on the company’s website and fill out the requested information about yourself. You will need to provide industry information such as your Department of Transportation number, certificate of cargo insurance and motor carrier permits. You will also need to fill out Uber Freight’s Broker-Motor Carrier Agreement, which outlines both parties’ legal rights and obligations. You may then download the Uber Freight app and start looking for loads.

As an Uber Freight driver, your rates are nonnegotiable. However, Uber guarantees payments for drivers within seven days. Rates should be fair according to current market values – one of Uber Freight’s selling points. Many businesses are already using Uber Freight, offering steady business for truck drivers and fleet operators. Signing up to drive for Uber Freight could help you join the movement toward smarter and more efficient cargo transportation, as well as enjoy steady work with prompt payments.