As the U.S. faces extended disruptions in its supply chains and driver shortages, Uber Freight has launched a new solution to pay carriers significantly faster than the industry standard. Since launching in 2017, Uber Freight has over 70,000 carriers in its network and thousands of shippers as customers.
The problem: The traditional accounts payable process has carriers waiting 30 days or longer to get paid for a delivery. That puts a strain on cash flow for a small business that has upfront costs like fuel and vehicle upkeep. Plus, at a macro level, the driver population in the U.S. is aging -- the current strain on the supply chain requires more drivers and better financial solutions for them to run their businesses.
The solution: Rather than waiting 30 days or longer for the traditional accounts payable process, carriers on Uber Freight can now get paid two hours after approved proof of delivery. The new payments products and rewards come via a partnership with Branch and Marqeta that was announced at last week's Money 20/20 Conference.
In addition to faster payments, Branch’s digital wallet includes a fee-free, FDIC-insured checking account and a commercial card specifically designed to enable the fast carrier settlements. The Uber Freight Card powered by Branch provides Uber Freight carriers a card to easily spend funds from the Branch Wallet, and fuel rewards to support drivers on their biggest expense.
“This partnership allows us to continue building our suite of carrier-first tools and offer the small carriers on our platform — the mom and pop shops and new authority carriers just starting their businesses — the opportunity to take advantage of lightning-fast payments, fuel discounts, and other benefits typically reserved for larger carriers. We’re proud to give underserved carriers this competitive edge and help them grow their businesses,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight.
Uber Freight isn't the only technology company focused on improving payments experiences for drivers. CloudTrucks, for example, offers instant payouts for an industry used to working with factoring companies. Relay Payments provides different payments solutions for various players in the trucking industry. B2B payments platform Melio also targets the trucking industry. Historically, WEX has been a big player in fleet management, including fuel cards and factoring services.