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Uber debuts Uber Freight Plus to lower operating costs for carriers

Darrell Etherington

Uber is sweetening the pot for its Uber Freight offering aimed at commercial trucking. The company is launchingUber Freight Plus today, a program designed to help alleviate costs around some of the more expensive aspects of owning and operating a transport vehicle, including fuel, tire and maintenance discounts, as well as new purchase bonuses for buying either brand new or used trucks.

The Uber Freight Plus program will provide up to $0.20 per gallon discounts off of the retail price at big, name brand fuel chains across the U.S., and around $0.15 per gallon in rebates at some smaller independent stops in California, Texas and Illinois. Operators will save an average of $130 per tire on replacements, and they can save up to $16,000 (in 'customer value') on new trucks, or as much as $4,000 on used vehicles. For maintenance, Uber says members will see savings of between 20 and 50 percent on parts on average. There are monthly discounts available for mobile service, too, including from Sprint and AT&T.

To reap these benefits, different eligibility rules apply. For the Fuel Card, mobile service and maintenance savings, carriers and their drives have to meet Uber's eligibility requirements, which means having booked and completed just one job on the Uber Freight app. Then, to remain eligible to participate in the program, drivers have to book and complete a single load on the Uber Freight app at least every 30 days. For truck purchase discounts, carriers must have completed at least 10 loads using Uber Freight.

Clearly, Uber's hoping to spur adoption and incentivize use of its platform. These discounts are attractive carrots, however, especially given the relatively low barrier to entry for most. Uber does say that eligibility conditions are subject to change, so this could just be their way of ensuring they reach as broad an audience as possible early on.