Uber Freight has nabbed execs from Airbnb and Box, plans to double its staff this year, and hinted that international expansion is next

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty ImagesUber Freight opened in late 2016.
  • Uber Freight matches truck drivers with retailers, warehouses, and other shippers – not unlike the popular ride-hailing app.
  • Uber Freight announced two executive hires last week. One is formerly of Airbnb and one came from Box. The freight marketplace also said it will double its team next year and may internationally expand.
  • It’s all good signs for the rapidly-growing freight brokerage tech space.

Quite a few freight brokerage tech startups have made waves in the $US726 billion trucking industry in recent years – like Transfix,Convoy, Uber Freight, and NEXT Trucking.

There’s been doubt that those tech-enabled freight brokerages would work out. After all, truck drivers, who are in an industry that’s less open to technology and tend to be older, aren’t necessarily the type who would want to sign up for a smartphone app where their location is being tracked.

Still, these startups have seen success. Earlier this month, Convoy, which was founded by two former Amazon employees, was valued at $US1 billion.

And Uber Freight – Uber’s push into the trucking industry – announced several more promising signs for the freight brokerage sector last week.

Earlier this month, a new head of marketplace and head of sales joined the company. Bar Ifrach joined Uber Freight as the marketplace head from Airbnb, where he was director of data science. And Andrew Smith, now head of sales at Uber Freight, was previously VP of North America sales at Box.

Trucking is quickly becoming a favourite of the tech industry, as Business Insider reported earlier this month. New York City-based Transfix just hired Mike Brittain as its vice president of engineering. He was previously VP of engineering at Etsy.

Read more:
A longtime Etsy engineering VP just joined one of trucking’s hottest startups – and it shows how the $US700 billion trucking industry is becoming a tech darling

Uber Freight also announced that it’s doubling its team. It also hinted at international aspirations.

“Uber is a global company, as are our Freight aspirations,” the press statement stated. “We have a dedicated team looking into viable international markets for Uber Freight and where we go beyond the U.S. in the future.”

Last month, Uber Freight introduced facility ratings where truck drivers can score a warehouse or retailer on how good they are to work with. That could help solve the pervasive issue of unpaid detention time, in which truckerslose $US1.1 to $US1.3 billion annually waiting at warehouses for loads.

Uber Freight now has more than 30,000 carriers (or trucking companies and truckers) on the service.

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