First, they're the pizza delivery guy; now this?
Uber is reportedly considering spinning off its freight division, either through a sale or as a separate public company.
The freight business was started in 2017 alongside the “Uber Everything” initiative. As the name suggests, that was Uber’s effort to find ways of using its technology — which was already good at brokering transport for people to get from A to B — to transport anything.
Uber Eats has become a particularly important part of Uber’s business and helped the company survive the pandemic when ride-hailing dried up, but Uber Freight, which connects carriers with shipments in a similar way to how the rides business works, has also grown quickly. Thanks in part to the acquisition of shipping software company Transplace in 2021, Uber’s logistics arm has grown into a $1.5bn-per-quarter business, contributing 18% of the company’s overall sales.
Uber Freight is already run separately from the core Uber business, and a spin-off could help Uber concentrate on mobility and Eats. Plus, as the company scales its advertising offering, it’s easy to imagine pop-ups for food or a ride (think adverts for food on your way home, or ads for specific brands on your way to the airport, mall or cinema). It’s harder to see how adverts would boost margins in the competitive freight business.