World Bulletin / News Desk
Uber on Thursday launched a new service in the U.S. called Uber Freight, an app that connects truck drivers with shippers needing to move big loads.
Professional trucking services -- companies and independent truckers - are now able to use the app to find nearby loads that need to be moved across a distance.
“We take the guesswork out of finding and booking freight, which is often the most stressful part of a driver’s day,” Uber said in a statement. “What used to take several hours and multiple phone calls can now be achieved with the touch of a button.
“Vetted users download the app, search for a load, and simply tap to book it. We send a rate confirmation within seconds, eliminating a common anxiety in trucking about whether or not the load is really confirmed.”
The app, available for Android and iOS devices, is very similar to the Uber app. The company said that it will vet all truckers who sign up for the service.
Silicon Valley has turned its attention to disrupting the freight industry. Industry experts estimate trucking is a $255.5 billion per year field.
Late last year, reports were released that said Amazon is working on an on-demand freight service, while a whole class of start-ups are focused on building self-driving long-haul trucks.
Uber Freight will be a telling bellwether for the tech industry’s ability to profit off overland freight.
“We fundamentally believe that by focusing on drivers’ pain points we can solve the industry’s biggest challenges,” the company said. “Happy drivers means (sic) happy shippers, and ultimately everyone benefits, including the end consumers of the goods.”
In the past six months, Uber has been rocked by a series of scandals, including reports of sexual harassment amongst employees and secretive programs used to skirt local government regulations.
The ridesharing company hopes Uber Freight will be a lucrative venture beyond its original app. Other projects, like food delivery service UberEATS and corporate travel service Uber for Business, have not been nearly as successful as the standalone app.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.