After months of working remotely with co-workers and customers, using all the amazing tech tools at our fingertips today, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on this statement: “Technology doesn’t build relationships. People do.” The truth is, I agree.
Now more than ever, the technology we build and use can enhance our relationships and make our daily lives more efficient and enjoyable. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy working at Uber Freight: we build amazing technology that solves real, tangible problems alongside people. And we often take on those challenges with novel and contrarian approaches. More often than not, this leads to new solutions.
So how does someone use technology to create relationships?
Much in the same way you’d make a friend: remove friction, remain honest, and show up to deliver. In thinking through the user needs for both shippers and carriers, we’ve learned that transparency matters. But that’s a contrarian view. Transportation is a dynamic space where clarity into cost and load execution hasn’t always been paramount.
It comes down to trust
In many cases, one of the biggest barriers to individuals testing out something new is a lack of trust. Think of it this way: we typically choose where to spend our money after some review, comparison, and planning. At the core, that’s what procurement is built upon. For example, when choosing a restaurant for dinner, we might leverage an online resource to signal the quality of the meals being offered. Inherently, we trust both the platform hosting the reviews and the thousands of individuals who have provided their perspective.
Effectively, we’re leveraging some version of social proof to determine if a provider will meet our expectations. The main element of social proof is trust: Do we trust the people and the technology with which they’re operating?
For us at Uber Freight, the answer from our customers and shippers is a resounding yes. With more than 6,000 shippers and 65,000 carriers, we’ve continually developed a strong community. Those interactions have produced over 1 million facility ratings on the Uber Freight platform, representing the largest number of reviews in the industry. Most importantly, those reviews have driven real change for our customers.
But there’s more. With Uber Freight’s various channels for real-time pricing, we’re able to surface market-driven indicators back to customers in seconds, which allows for high-velocity decisions and efficient action. Via our API, we can surface rates directly to a customer through our deep bench of TMS partnerships. And with Uber Freight Enterprise, transactions occur at the going market rate with minimal interaction from the user, effectively automating the procurement process. This frictionless transaction, enabled by technology, is the future of the industry and helps make Uber Freight a partner our customers can trust.
Case in point: White Arrow
Customers such as transportation provider White Arrow can attest to this. Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to work with its CEO, Chris Ceausu. Since its inception in 1986, White Arrow has been an early adopter of technology. When Chris couldn’t find the appropriate solutions in the marketplace, he developed a proprietary TMS, which helped usher in a new stage of transparency for his customers. With the adoption of Uber Freight Enterprise, Chris believes he’s finally receiving the same level of price transparency and operational control from a partner that he seeks to provide his own customers.
This serves as a good reminder: technology and relationships can, in fact, build upon one another.
“Uber Freight’s marketplace is a simple way of transacting a shipment from a customer to a driver in a seamless way,” says Chris. “We utilize Uber Freight for shipments to maximize our service levels to our customers.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how Uber Freight can integrate its growing suite of products to enable your supply chain, please reach out to your sales representative or visit our website.
Harris Ligon has been working in the surface transportation space for over a decade. He joined Uber Freight nearly 4 years ago and currently leads a team focused on business development and strategy for its emerging product initiatives. In Harris’s own words, “We’re constantly working on concepts that bridge the user needs of today and market needs of tomorrow. It is often thrilling and regularly humbling.”