Uber Freight has announced that it will introduce in-app bidding within its digital freight marketplace, enabling carriers and drivers to book their next load with the touch of a button. This feature is expected to improve the balance between supply and demand, while also creating an environment where both shippers and carriers gain the best rates going forward.
Mike Place, product manager at Uber Freight, told FreightWaves that this feature is an extension of the promise that the company gives to its users – to provide upfront pricing on all its loads. Though carriers had positive things to say of the existing platform, they also expressed interest in seeing bidding options, as it would help them express the desired price under certain conditions.
“With transparency central to everything we build at Uber Freight, our bidding mechanism aims to provide feedback to carriers upfront. Traditionally, carriers have to wait until their bid is accepted or someone else books the load to get any sort of feedback on their offer,” said Place.
“Uber Freight, on the other hand, uses our pricing engine to evaluate bids and provide feedback to carriers quickly if they are not likely to win so they can either move on to another load or change their bid accordingly.”
Uber Freight conducted many hours of research in concert with its carriers, including previewing designs that ultimately made it into the product. The feature will now be available across select loads to carriers in the U.S.
Carriers can now submit bids and receive feedback on select loads, directly in the app. They get notifications on the status of their bid, and winning bidders will have their loads temporarily reserved to book at the winning price.
“All loads available for bidding will still have a ‘Book Now’ price allowing carriers to book in seconds if that’s preferred. As a complement to our dynamic pricing engine, and by automating and streamlining the traditional bidding process, Uber Freight’s in-app bidding aims to improve functionality for the entire freight marketplace,” said Uber Freight in its statement.
For Uber Freight, the rates confirmed via bidding processes will help add to the accuracy of its algorithms. These algorithms run the company’s dynamic pricing engine, which analyzes market conditions in real-time to price loads quickly and transparently. With market conditions being increasingly volatile, Uber Freight can leverage trucker opinions to figure out the best rate for both sides of the marketplace.
“Bidding will be available on certain loads, for example where there’s a high degree of market volatility or where the load is being tendered in a short time-frame,” said Place. “While we continue to see the value in upfront pricing, we also recognize the value in inviting carrier input via bidding.”