Uber has partnered with trucking startup CloudTrucks to make it easier for its ride-hail drivers to get jobs as truckers during the pandemic.
Described as a “business in a box,” CloudTrucks is designed to make it easier for truck owners and operators to run their businesses. Through software and data science, CloudTrucks aims to reduce operating costs for truck drivers and improve revenue, cash flow and costs.
“The country (and the world) is currently facing unprecedented health and economic crises at the same time: Due to Covid-19 and the shutdowns across the nation, businesses are seeing earnings plummet at an alarming rate and employees and contractors are seeing their wages depleted,” CloudTrucks CEO Tobenna Arodiogbu wrote in a blog post.
During this time, Uber drivers with valid commercial driver licenses can join CloudTrucks to start transporting freight loads. If they don’t have access to a truck, CloudTrucks’ partnership with Ryder enables them to lease a tractor and/or trailer. CloudTrucks says it will cover the deposit fee.
“Truck drivers are the backbone of our economy, and communities are depending on them now more than ever,” Uber Freight Head of Business Development and Strategy & Planning Laurent Hautefeuille said in a statement. “Our objective at Uber Freight is to support all truck drivers whether they are industry veterans or just starting out, and we hope this partnership with CloudTrucks and COOP by Ryder will open up more opportunities for those already on the Uber platform.”
There are thousands of drivers across the nation who could be eligible, but the ideal driver, according to Arodiogbu, is someone who has completed at least 500 rides on the Uber platform and has good ratings.
“That said, we are happy to work with Uber drivers who do not meet the number of rides requirement,” he said. “The driver would also have a valid CDL and 2 years of prior truck driving experience.”
For drivers interested in getting into trucking, it won’t cost them anything to get started. CloudTrucks will make money from this, but the company will only get paid once the driver gets paid.
CloudTrucks is a relatively new company, having just launched earlier this year after Arodiogbu sold his last startup, Scotty Labs, to DoorDash. To date, CloudTrucks has raised $6.1 million from Craft Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kindred Ventures and Abstract Ventures.