One of the big problems owner-operators have is waiting to load and unload at warehouses. that is dead time for them. They are only earning their fee if they are rolling; they aren’t paid for waiting time.
Uber Freight has designed a service called Powerloop, which offers to place leased trailers at shippers’ premises so that they can load or unload when it suits them. When a trailer is ready for pickup, the Uber Freight system finds an owner-operator driver who can come to the premises, and simply hook up to the trailer and leave. And on the other end, the owner-operator simply drops off the trailer. It’s then up to the receiver to unload the trailer on their own time.
This is clearly a big advantage to the driver. And Uber takes a cut from the fee offered to cover the trailer lease and maintenance costs, and the service ofhaving it at the shipper’s warehouse when they need it.
Think of it as a bit like the U-Haul moving pods you sometimes see outside the house of someone who is moving. the family can load it as they can, and when it’s ready they can just say, “Come pick it up.” A driver comes and takes it to where it’s going, and leaves it again, in the new driveway or something. It’s up to the family to unload it, and then have it taken away. For some it works a lot better than a moving van.
Warehouses are notorious for having limited working hours that don’t conform to the needs of the truckers they’ve hired to move the load. The warehouses may have labor rules for union workers, or may have instituted various rules themselves. Failing to match rules to truckers’ needs can result in a warehouse being placed on a lwess-than-desirable list that may bring higher rates, or fewer carriers to select from. And at the extreme it may result in abandoned loads and poor relations with the carrier, customer, and warehouse, losing money and time for all.
The Uber approach is one that could work in drivers’ favor and warehouses also. It takes financial muscle, such as Uber can generate— to lease the trailers; and technology, like Uber’s— the system for good communication with drivers and drop-off points to get the scheduling right.
Uber Freight’s power-only expansion into Georgia gives owner-operators leg up Powerloop now accessible in 3 states .
Grace Sharkey Thursday, August 26, 2021Uber Freight’s power-only expansion into Georgia gives owner-operators leg up – FreightWaves