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Uber Seeks to Build Up Freight Business

Uber Technologies Inc. is digging deeper into the freight business, ramping up hiring at a planned new hub in Chicago and rolling out logistics services even as its core ride-hailing business continues to post steep losses.

The company’s Uber Freight said Tuesday it is expanding a service aimed at making it easier for truckers to pick up already-loaded trailers ready for transport. It is the latest in a stream of upgrades at the business as it looks to grab business from traditional freight transport companies and compete with a growing field of like-minded digital brokerages.

Uber Freight also said carriers using its mobile app can now book multiple loads at one time, a service it says will help truckers plan better and reduce the number of miles spent hauling empty trailers. Rival freight-booking startup Convoy rolled out a similar service earlier this year.

The actions mark the latest steps to extend Uber Technologies’ reach beyond its ride-hailing app.

Uber’s overall revenue reached $3.17 billion in the second quarter, but the company still expects to lose $3 billion to $3.2 billion this year.

Uber, which logged $11.3 billion in full-year revenue for 2018, doesn’t break out financial results for Uber Freight, which it launched in 2017, but said in its IPO filing that the division had $359 million in gross freight bookings in 2018. The company’s Other Bets segment, which primarily consists of Uber Freight and its mobility business focused on electric bikes and scooters, generated $373 million in revenue in 2018.