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Seeking open road, Uber sets sights on trucking business

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Uber is in it for the long haul.

The ride-hailing company on Thursday announced a new application that matches shippers with truck owners.

"Just tap a button and instantly book the loads you want to haul," Uber said in an announcement. "And, thanks to upfront pricing you'll always know how much you'll get paid." 

The app, called Uber Freight, is available free of charge.

Uber's pitch to potential carriers is similar to the one it makes to car owners for its popular ride-hailing service, which has spread globally despite numerous legal and regulatory challenges. The new service lets truck owners book the jobs they want, according to the company.

"No haggling with brokers, back-and-forth negotiations or hassles," Uber said, guaranteeing to pay carriers within seven days.

In the same way Uber has disrupted traditional taxi companies by using tech to connect drivers directly with customers, the new service aims to take trucking brokerages out of the equation. In theory, allowing truckers to choose the loads they want to haul can avoid having to wait for jobs or drive with an empty rig.

"See a load you like? Just tap to book it and drive with the peace of mind that the upfront quote is what you'll get paid," Uber said.

Drivers will reportedly be required to have a commercial license and carry the necessary insurance.  

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