Uber Freight
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Uber has given the freight and logistics industry its first sighting of the size and scope of its business as it reported third-quarter results yesterday, including separating its freight division with comparison 2018 numbers.

Previously freight, along with Uber Eats and other nascent investments, had made up Uber’s “other bets” division, but its latest results show, for the first time, the number of bookings and revenue its online freight brokerage platform has made since it was launched a little over two years ago.

In the three months to the end of September, it made 223m bookings, an increase of some 81% on the 123m bookings in the same period last year. However, it added elsewhere that “freight volume increased by over 100%”.

Revenue from this operation was $218m, an increase of 78% over the same period in 2018, when it said it saw income of $122m.

There was an adjusted ebitda loss for the freight division of $81m, a 67% bigger loss than the $31m shortfall in the same period of 2018.

However, it also claimed that the scope of the business had considerably widened.

It said: “Despite being only two years old, over 50,000 carriers have used the Uber Freight app. Several of the top 10 national carriers are already regular participants in our network and our shipper list includes several Fortune 50 customers.”

In an earnings call with investors and analysts, chief financial officer Nelson Chai explained: “Freight growth was driven by load volume increases of over 100% in spite of soft market conditions.

“Freight continues to rapidly take share in the large US market, while providing excellent service that lays the groundwork for long-term shipper partnerships.

“Our team continues to automate what was high-touch, phone-driven tasks to scale our enterprise relationships and, increasingly, our self-serve, small super platform, and to expand our carrier footprint across individual, as well as fleet owners,” he said.

While Uber’s share price dropped after publication of its results, mainly due to the vast losses incurred in its Rides arm, Loadstar Premium editor Alessandro Pasetti wondered whether it could be a first step in hiving off its freight business.

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