Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies has expanded its Uber Freight logistics platform beyond U.S. borders once again, announcing today that it has begun facilitating both domestic and cross-border loads in Canada.
The initiative follows the firm's recent European expansion earlier in 2019 to Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. According to Uber Freight, those initiatives are a response to European companies' requests for tools to address logistical bottlenecks and solve severe driver shortages.
Uber Freight also made a move in September to accelerate its growth by moving its headquarters from the technology hub of San Francisco to the freight-and-logistics center of Chicago. The firm has pledged to invest over $200 million annually in the Illinois region through headcount, real estate investment, and other expenses.
In its latest expansion, Uber Freight said it is now facilitating freight in Ontario and Quebec domestically and across the border to the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, with plans to expand to the rest of Canada. Local carriers and their drivers based in the U.S. and Canada are able to book and move domestic and cross border loads with the Uber Freight app, now available in both English and French.
In a blog post, Uber Freight said it made the move in a bid to target the more than $600 billion in goods that traveled between the U.S. and Canada in 2018 alone. Despite that robust volume of trade, Canada faces many of the same industry challenges as the U.S., including a driver shortage which is forecast to grow more extreme over the next five years as thousands of aging drivers retire.
"These tight market conditions present complex challenges ripe for technology solutions," Uber Freight said in the post. "We're thrilled to work together with our neighbor and critical trade partner to unlock the massive opportunity that is the North American trucking industry."