October 11, 2023

Uber Freight’s new solutions: Rebuilt TMS, procurement, wide AI use


The Uber Freight acquisition and integration of Transplace in 2021 has moved to a higher level with the announcement of a suite of products that touches both sides of the combined company.

Uber Freight rolled out the new offerings late last month at its Deliver user conference in San Diego.

CEO Lior Ron, in a media briefing held in conjunction with the conference, said the company was “doubling down on our technology.”

At the heart of the new offerings — and the one that most closely aligns with the capabilities brought to Uber Freight (NYSE: UBER) by the acquisition of Transplace — is an update of the Uber Freight TMS.

In his media briefing, Ron called it “the deepest, most comprehensive update to our TMS in history.”

“What we’ve done over the last two years since the Transplace acquisition was to really reimagine what would it mean to mobilize the TMS system and take that to the next level,” Ron said. The new system has “a new look and feel and user interface that is super intuitive, super easy to use.” The latest TMS was built on “the next generation of usability and ease of use” and was reconstructed “module by module.”

At the heart of it is a “control tower” that Ron said will have “a super deep understanding of the entire operation.” He said “for the first time, it will have full end-to-end visibility across the supply chain, all integrated into the TMS.” And while truckload remains the bread and butter of Uber Freight’s operations, the new TMS, Ron said, also will have air, ocean and rail visibility, moving on from there to the final mile.

“All of those can now be viewed end to end in an integrated way in the control tower, and that’s a big unlock in terms of running a timely operation and understanding of what is happening across the board,” Ron said.

A second leg of the rollout is Uber Freight Exchange, which Ron described as the company’s first stand-alone software-as-a-service solution. In supporting material released with the rollout, Uber Freight called it “a reimagined procurement solution.”

“The standard procurement process of using RFPs and signing annual contracts for rates is

often cumbersome, time consuming and fragmented,” Uber Freight said in that supporting material.

Ron called procurement “a huge pain point” for shippers. How do you make sense of the super volatile market?”

Both shippers and carriers are envisioned as users of the platform. The network of carriers using Uber Freight will be able to tap into it and receive bids from shippers.

Uber Freight Exchange, he said, will allow shippers to “basically run all of their procurement events on the tool. So this is basically allowing me as a shipper to run my contracts, run my mini bids, my spot auctions” on a software tool that he said has “all the technology we have developed over the past seven years.”

The fleet of Uber Freight carriers who choose to use the tool will be available to users of Uber Freight Exchange, Ron said. But he added that shippers can bring their own carriers into the mix.

It’s part of what Ron called a “future path, which is an enterprise software company that can offer the most comprehensive end-to-end software suite for shippers and carriers wherever they are.”

Another part of the company’s transition will be what he described as a “rethinking” of Uber Freight as an “AI-first approach.” “We are fully integrating AI into every facet of the company and our operation,” he said.

In its supporting material, Uber Freight said the AI suite of offerings will be called Insights AI. “Insights AI will leverage [large language models] to generate and surface insights from Uber Freight’s vast store of transportation data for customers,” it said.

Much of this already is in place. Ron cited as examples a “co-pilot” that can provide better estimated times of arrival, with a chatbot service as part of the offering. There is also a co-pilot “to help our service agents as they provide support for the shippers to help them provide faster and safer service for all the support tickets and requests they receive.” A generative AI tool also will be used by the company’s engineers “to help them code more efficiently.” That has helped increase productivity by 30% to 50%, he said.

Another example of that adoption of generative AI was seen recently in Uber Freight’s 10-year deal with Waabi Innovation to haul freight for Uber Freight with autonomous vehicles. Generative AI is a core part of the Waabi value proposition.

More articles by John Kingston

Truck transportation employment ranks rebound

XPO’s Jacobs on his next venture: Wait and see

Broker dodges liability in $18 million verdict, had no ‘control’ over carrier


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Source link
In this article:
Share on social media: