San Francisco-based Uber Freight said today it had opened a new headquarters in Chicago and plans to invest over $200 million annually in the region through headcount, real estate investment, and other expenses.
Uber Freight, the freight brokerage arm of ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc., said it plans to hire 2,000 new employees in the region over the next three years, dedicating most of them to serving in Uber Freight's first engineering hub outside of San Francisco.
The move is intended to support Uber Freight's global growth, which over the last 27 months has included an expansion from the U.S. into Europe, compiling over 400,000 drivers in its carrier network, and listing more than 1,000 shippers as customers, including AB Inbev, Niagara Bottling, and Land O'Lakes, the company said.
Also in recent months, the firm has grown through integrations with software vendors such as transportation management software (TMS) provider MercuryGate Inc. and through launching new features like its "Lane Explorer" real-time freight-quoting tool.
"Trucking represents an enormous opportunity for Uber, and this milestone is a testament to our long-term commitment to our Freight business," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a release. "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."
The move will also help the firm pursue a larger share of the $3.8 trillion global freight industry by offering a more efficient and collaborative platform than is now available, Lior Ron, the head of Uber Freight, said in a blog post.
"We've built cutting-edge technology for both sides of the freight marketplace, unlocking opportunity for shippers, carriers, and their drivers so that they can focus on improving their bottom lines, growing their businesses, and keeping their eyes on the road ahead," Ron said. "We've pushed the entire industry towards transparency with features like facility ratings and real-time pricing."