Sources have revealed that Uber was in talks to acquire a freight logistics company, but the deal fell through.
“When we look for talent, Chicago’s at the top of the list,” Bill Driegert, director of Uber Freight, told Crain’s in August 2017. “It’s a great hub for logistics and ops talent. We knew that managing the whole country from San Francisco was going to be a challenge.”
Launched in 2016, Uber Freight started out as a marketplace to match shippers with trucks, similar to how the Uber app hooks drivers up with riders. Today, it helps both independent truckers and fleets find and negotiate available jobs.
Uber Freight even has a suite of logistics features that enables the app to learn drivers’ preferences based on past loads, location, home base and more. When a new load matches these preferences, the app will notify the driver while they’re on the road.
Load Delivered, which utilizes a 70-person team to also pair truckers with payload work, could have helped Uber Freight in shipping refrigerated cargo, which is Load Delivered’s specialty.
While the deal didn’t happen, it did get close. Sources say some of Load Delivered’s employees were even notified of the sale. But the talks, which started in August, stalled after Uber went through months without a CEO after the ousting of its former chief, Travis Kalanick.
Another factor: Load Delivered had a strong fourth quarter, seeing $87 million in revenue in 2016. This led to uncertainty about whether the company wanted to sell or remain independent. Sources said it is still trying to figure out if it wants to be sold to anyone else in the logistics market.