Uber has announced plans to invest $200 million annually in its long-haul trucking venture, Uber Freight. Uber Freight connects truck drivers with shippers, much like the way the company’s ride-hailing app pairs drivers with those looking for a ride. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement, “Trucking represents an enormous opportunity for Uber, and this milestone is a testament to our long-term commitment to our Freight business.”
The expanded business will be headquartered in a newly opened office located in The Old Main Post Office in the historic Chicago River area. The Uber office will serve as both the Uber Freight headquarters and its first engineering hub outside of San Francisco. To support the expansion, Uber said it will hire 2,000 new employees in the region over the next three years
Khosrowshahi said in his statement, “Chicago is the heart of America’s transportation and logistics industry, and there is no better place to open our dedicated Freight HQ. Uber has long recognized the incredible history, innovation, and talent that Chicago has to offer, and we’re excited about the thousands of new jobs our Freight business will help bring as we become one of the city’s largest technology employers.”
Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, called Freight the “fastest growing business in Uber.” Since launching two years ago, Uber Freight has expanded from limited regional operations in Texas to the rest of the continental U.S. and to Europe. The company made Uber Freight a separate business unit in August 2018. The unit now has more than 50,000 carriers on the platform, more than 400,000 drivers in its carrier network, and over 1,000 shippers as customers.
Ron joined Uber when it bought Otto, the self-driving trucking startup he co-founded with fellow ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski. Andrew Smith, one of Box’s early employees, heads up global sales at Uber Freight, and Bar Ifrach, formerly of Airbnb, leads its marketplace team.