May 29, 2024
Technology

Uber Freight ramps up its executive team and digital technology


Launched in 2017, Uber Freight is out to show that its startup days are far behind it.

Dan-Annuziata-UberFreight

Dan Annunziata, head of commercial, Uber Freight

Just ask Dan Annunziata, whom Uber Freight recently hired away from third-party logistics services giant CH Robinson to fill the new role of head of commercial, focused on strengthening strategic relationships with shippers.

“Uber Freight has a compelling value proposition for shippers of all types: long gone are the days of the perceived digital startup,” he said earlier this month when taking his new position.

Along with Annunziata, Uber Freight also announced the appointment of former Amazon, Walmart and Chewy logistics and parcel delivery executive Hany Elkordy as its new head of logistics, last-mile solutions.

Investing in AI amid talk of an IPO or sale

The two executives follow several other strategic hires at Uber Freight, a business unit of ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. In addition, in recent months Uber Freight has invested in AI-powered logistics management technology and started a pilot rollout of a logistics scheduling application programming interface, or API, for the Uber Freight transportation management system in accordance with the Scheduling Standards Consortium’s Technical Standard.

All of these activities coincide with reports last month by Bloomberg and other news organizations that Uber Technologies was considering a possible initial public offering of stock or a sale of its freight unit.

But Uber made no mention of a possible sale or IPO along with its recent personnel and technology announcements.

Focusing on strategic partnerships with shippers

The company says Annunziata’s “primary focus will be on unifying the commercial, sales ops and solutions organization to deliver end-to-end solutions, broadening and strengthening Uber Freight’s position as a strategic partner for shippers.”

“Uber Freight is a global enterprise with more than 5,200 employees and a formidable presence in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe,” Annunziata says. “Our capabilities span from 3PL and transportation management services to capacity solutions across truckload, LTL, IMDL, and cross border.” (LTL and IMDL stand for less-than-truckload and intermodal.)

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Hany Elkordy, head of logistics, last-mile solutions, Uber Freight

In his new role, Elkordy will “spearhead parcel modality enhancements and expansion, working closely with product, operations and technology teams,” Uber says.

When it announced AI projects last fall, Uber Freight said it had invested $120 million since 2021 to provide better visibility into and control of logistics operations through technology designed for “scaling enterprise applications that span logistics software solutions, generative AI and data-enabled insights tools, as well as innovative capacity and mode expansions.”

Launching Uber Freight Exchange

Uber Freight also launched last fall Uber Freight Exchange, which is designed to expedite freight procurement cycles and shipment processes. Shippers can use Uber Freight Exchange to run auctions with their own carriers in addition to Uber Freight’s network of 100,000 carriers across the U.S.

Among its AI developments, Uber Freight has unveiled Insights AI, a generative AI-powered tool designed to help logistics management teams work with “more complex, strategic analyses” when making logistics management decisions. “Insights AI will leverage LLMs (large language models) to generate and surface insights from Uber Freight’s vast store of transportation data for customers.”

The company is also working with AI and machine learning to “drive network optimization and service improvements at scale” through ETA (estimated time of arrival) and PLA (probability of late arrival) applications. Uber says these tools are designed to help drive “automated self-healing workflows to improve shipper service.”

Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. paul@digitalcommerce360.com.

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