Uber Freight, the Uber business unit that helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies, said Wednesday it’s launching the app in Canada as part of its global expansion plan.
The move into Canada will give Uber Freight access to the country’s $68 billion trucking industry, which is facing a severe driver shortage that has constrained freight capacity, the company said. It also follows Uber Freight’s announcement in September that it was expanding into Europe.
Since launching in May 2017, Uber Freight has grown from limited regional operations in Texas to the rest of the continental U.S., Europe and now Canada.
“Since the beginning, we have been dedicated to scaling our operations to enable opportunity for both Uber Freight and the shippers and carriers that keep our world moving,” said Lior Ron, who leads Uber Freight.
The company said that its platform can help increase efficiency in the sector and reduce trucks running empty miles across North America. Local carriers and their drivers based in the U.S. and Canada are able to book and move domestic and cross-border loads with the Uber Freight app, now available in both English and French, the company said.
The company is focused on routes in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as across the Canadian border into the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. Uber Freight said it plans to expand to the rest of Canada.
Uber Freight serves more than 1,000 shippers, including companies such as AB Inbev, Niagara Bottling and Land O’Lakes.
Earlier this year, Uber Freight established its headquarters in Chicago as part of its parent company’s broader plan to invest more than $200 million annually in the region, including hiring hundreds of workers. Uber said at the time it would hire 2,000 new employees in the region over the next three years; most will be dedicated to Uber Freight.
Uber Freight, which also has offices in San Francisco and Amsterdam, has become an important piece to Uber’s larger business strategy to generate revenue from all forms of transportation, including logistics for packages. Uber has dedicated more resources to the trucking platform since August 2018 when Uber Freight spun out as a separate business unit. Since then, the company has expanded its operations and redesigned the app, including the addition of new navigation features, an updated map view and a search bar across the top of the screen.