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    10,116.640
    68.200
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  • WAIT.USA
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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  • DATVF.PHLCHI
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  • DATVF.VEU
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  • DATVF.VSU
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  • DATVF.VWU
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  • OTRI.USA
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  • OTVI.USA
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ModesNewsTechnologyTrucking

MercuryGate adds Uber Freight’s capacity and pricing to TMS

Starting today, shippers using MercuryGate’s transportation management system (TMS) will have access to Uber Freight’s network of carriers, guaranteed capacity and real-time market rates, MercuryGate announced this morning.

“Shippers need reliable information to drive speed and efficiency in their 24/7 operations,” said MercuryGate president and chief executive officer Joe Juliano in a statement. “By tapping into Uber Freight’s trusted carrier network, customers of all sizes can realize the benefits of a digital freight marketplace with access to real-time pricing and a vast network of available carriers and guaranteed capacity.”

MercuryGate is perhaps best known as a freight brokerage TMS, but the software company’s website lists Baker and Taylor, Chobani, Dillard’s, Moen, Columbia, Hibbett Sports, Jabil, Mohawk and Sephora as shipper customers.

The MercuryGate-Uber Freight partnership is similar to the Oracle-Loadsmart deal announced last month and confirms a new trend in the digital freight brokerage (DFB) space. DFBs are valued on revenue multiples as if they’re technology companies, but so far they have tended to grow like traditional brokerages, with enterprise salespeople working through the corporate hierarchies of Fortune 500 companies and bidding on freight lane by lane.

In other words, the problem was not so much mobile app downloads and stickiness – downloads can grow virally and stickiness can be tweaked with incentives as needed. The problem was a lack of freight. It’s still an expensive and painstaking process to acquire new shipper customers, and the kinds of companies initially targeted by most DFBs were large enterprise customers, who already have relationships with asset-based carriers and non-asset third-party logistics providers (3PLs). 

This play allows Uber Freight to piggyback on MercuryGate’s network of shippers, and, more importantly, decouple freight volume growth from manual human effort (i.e., salespeople). By giving MercuryGate users access to on-demand capacity and real-time rates, Uber Freight is dramatically reducing the friction involved in joining its network. 

TMS integrations like the Uber Freight-MercuryGate and Loadsmart-Oracle deals will likely be necessary for digital freight brokers to grow their freight volumes as quickly as their carrier capacity and maintain a balanced, liquid network. Shippers will benefit from better price discovery and arbitrage opportunities, especially if they can efficiently compare rates from multiple transportation providers.

“As part of this collaboration, shippers can depend on load coverage any hour of the day, seven days a week,” said head of operations at Uber Freight, Bill Driegert, in a statement. “Users can price and tender immediately, spending less time looking for prices and capacity and more time and energy delivering value to their customers and improving their bottom line.”

MercuryGate was founded in 2000. A year ago, the technology company was acquired by private equity group Summit Partners for an undisclosed sum, though the Wall Street whisper number was $390 million.

Uber Freight was founded in 2016 as part of Jason Droege’s Uber Everything strategy with team members from Otto, the self-driving truck company Uber acquired in 2016. Based on Uber Technologies’ (NYSE: UBER) latest financial reporting, FreightWaves estimates that Uber Freight is on a $500 million revenue run rate.

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.

4 Comments

  1. I bet Mercury Gates broker and 3PL customers just loved the awful message this sends to them. In fact I bet all of Mercury Gates broker customers are already shopping for a new TMS software system. Mercury Gate just told all of their broker and 3PL clients “hey, we are putting Uber Freights rates in front of all your customers”.

    If I was one of the supe big 3PL’s using mercury gate i would be so p1ssed off.

    1. David,
      I completely agree with you. It’s unfortunate that a company as massive as Mercury gate would pull the carpet out of their broker relationships for what may be a couple points on the bottom line and a few articles printed about them. If you are a brokerage and you are looking for a new place to go where you are the priority both in software design and in customer service/support I suggest you give us a call at Shipwell. You’ve already heard about us and all the amazing tools we are putting in place to help YOU grow your business. Now it’s time to see the software for yourself and move into the future with Quantum powered AI and machine learning built to drive efficiency through optimization in your business. Ryan@Shipwell.com

    2. Yeah … what a stupid move on MercuryGate’s part. I have heard things have really gone to pieces there since a lot of their brain trust left — this just reaffirms what I am hearing.

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