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BusinessNewsTechnologyTop Stories

Uber Freight christens Chicago HQ, names head of logistics tech

Company plans to leverage technology, university relationships to recruit

Digital freight brokerage Uber Freight announced on Tuesday that it has completed the build-out of its global headquarters in downtown Chicago. It held a ribbon-cutting at the new space in the historic Old Post Office. 

In 2019, the division of Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) announced that it had signed a 10-year lease on the 450,000-square-foot space that would accommodate over 2,000 employees, including those from its Eats and Rides platforms, moving Uber Freight headquarters from San Francisco to Chicago.

With its finished build-out, the facility features a full-service kitchen, care rooms, nursing rooms, gender-neutral bathrooms, library spaces, a boxing gym and private outdoor roof space.

Uber Freight executives explained that one of the main objectives of the new location is to provide space for the company’s new Technology Innovation Center, drawing on the talent pool generated by the city’s status as a major transportation hub, as well as its world-class universities and research centers.

“In the last year, Uber Freight has seen tremendous growth, introducing new technologies and expanding existing solutions to help shippers and carriers adapt to the increasingly volatile market conditions,” said Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight. “We are excited to advance on this growth trajectory here in Chicago and utilize the region’s top logistics and technology talent to expand our team and continue to build the future of logistics together.”

Concurrently, Uber Freight announced it has appointed Val Marchevsky as its first head of logistics tech to oversee a team of engineers at the Technology Innovation Center.  

With Marchevsky’s experience leading teams at Motorola and Google, along with his degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University, Uber Freight hopes to leverage his expertise to recruit and lead the next generation of talent at the new headquarters.

In the Chicago market, Uber Freight will be competing for employees with established freight brokerages including Redwood, MoLo, Forager, Loadsmart, Arrive Logistics, Edge Logistics and Echo Global Logistics, and with innovative supply chain solutions companies like project44 and FourKites.

In an interview with FreightWaves, Marchevsky described the environment at Uber Freight and how he believes the opportunities available there will stand out.

“At Uber, we get to build on the shoulders of giants,” he said. “There is a fantastic system with a lot of machine learning capabilities that has primarily been geared towards the other lines of business. Uber Freight has fantastic opportunities for growth, for automation and deployment of artificial intelligence to make the transportation industry run more efficiently.

“My goal is to take the technical talent we already have, leverage some of the best universities in the country and put together a world-class engineering team to work alongside our operational experts so we can learn from each other and contribute to the technological advances of logistics.”

Given Uber’s state-of-the-art technology, existing operational talent and incoming talent from its recent acquisition of Transplace, company executives and the city’s mayor believe the new headquarters will lead to deeper innovation in freight and the city as a whole.

“Uber’s expansion and continued investment in Chicago is proof of our city’s global reputation as a major hub of technology and innovation, said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“Uber Freight is now one of the world’s largest digitally enabled carrier networks with enormous potential, and there’s no better place to grow this platform than here in Chicago,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO at Uber.

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at gsharkey@freightwaves.com.

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