Uber Technologies Inc. is expanding its business helping independent trucking companies with logistics. Next month, Uber Freight will start operations in the Netherlands, marking the unit’s first international expansion, the company said.
Uber is expected to publicly file for an initial public offering next month — releasing its detailed financials as it moves closer to a public listing. Uber Freight, which connects truck drivers with freight deliveries, will likely be positioned as a key growth opportunity, alongside food delivery, electric bikes and autonomous cars. The business has already grown across the U.S., Uber said, though the company declined to provide exact figures.
“I can’t speak to the size of it, but we’re national in the U.S. now,” said Bill Driegert, head of operations for Uber Freight. “We have density across all of the lower 48.”
While Uber’s international trucking business will be based in the Netherlands, the company will be able to facilitate deliveries in and out of the country. That means the business will be directing trucks across Europe. Uber eventually plans to expand its operations outside of the Netherlands.
Following the same roll-out strategy it used in the U.S., Uber Freight will initially work directly with carriers, dispatchers and drivers to coordinate shipments. Then, once the company establishes a network and a system, it will make the service more widely available using an app.
Driegert expects growth in the European Union to pose different challenges than U.S. expansion. “Europe, of course, being 28 separate countries with more local autonomy, there is a bit more regulatory consideration that we have to work through,” he said.