The small profits that digital brokerage Uber Freight turned in during the first quarter of the year more than doubled in the second three months of 2022.
It’s off a small base: Uber Freight had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2 million in the first quarter, the first time it had been profitable on that basis, and had EBITDA of $5 million in the second quarter, the company said in its second-quarter earnings statement.
Revenue comparisons year to year are less meaningful, because current revenue figures include contributions from Transplace. Uber Freight closed on the Transplace acquisition in November; it was announced just over a year ago.
Transplace provides managed transportation services mostly to shippers, and its combination with a leading digital freight brokerage, with access to more than 1 million carriers in the Uber Freight network, was seen as groundbreaking when it was announced.
In the few comments on Uber Freight in its earnings release, the company said Uber Freight revenue was up 426% from last year.
The positive EBITDA came as the EBITDA margin, measured as a percentage of gross bookings, was up 12.1 percentage points to 0.3% year on year, coming from a negative number a year ago. The improvement was “driven by increased marketplace efficiency on our digital platform and strong sales momentum in our Transportation Management business,” Uber said in the earnings statement.
The earnings report said of the Transplace acquisition: “Integration efforts continue to progress; leveraging Uber Freight’s 1.6 million trucks across our digital carrier network is continuing to fuel procurement momentum across the combined businesses.”
The operational highlight of the quarter was the announcement of Uber Freight’s partnership with Waymo to bring together Waymo’s growing autonomous vehicle technology with the Uber Freight network.
In its comments in the earnings statement, Uber Freight described the agreement as a “first-of-its-kind, long-term strategic industry partnership … combining the power of Waymo’s autonomous driving technology with the scale of Uber Freight’s network and our leading marketplace technology.”
Uber Freight was not mentioned on the company’s quarterly earnings call with analysts.