Freight Logistics Startup Buys Uber’s European Freight Operation

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Berlin-based digital road freight logistics startup sennder announced Wednesday (Sept. 16) it has acquired Uber’s European freight business in an all-stock deal.

The U.S. ride-hailing company will become a minority shareholder. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The transaction will bring the two companies together to expand the digital freight industry across Europe, the U.S. and Canada and extend the combined group’s presence to Amsterdam, the company said.

The agreement includes a shipper referral program in which it will refer shippers seeking freight brokerage in North America to Uber Freight, and vice versa, sennder said.

The deal is expected to strengthen sennder’s position as the largest digital freight forwarder in Europe and enhances its service across its key markets.

Through this agreement, Uber Freight will offer its customers substantially extended reach in Europe.

“This acquisition strengthens our position as Europe’s number one digital logistics provider,” said sennder CEO and Co-Founder David Nothacker in a statement. “We also look forward to working with Uber Freight to bring further value to both companies’ customers.”

Founded in 2015 by Nothacker, Nicolaus Schefenacker and Julius Kohler, sennder connects commercial shippers with small trucking companies. The data-based company promises to ensure transparency and efficiency within cargo distribution.

The company said its 500-person workforce manages more than 10,000 trucks across Europe.

In June, the company merged with Everoad, the French transportation company. That followed a joint venture with Poste Italiane, one of Italy’s largest logistics operators.

Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, said the collaboration allows the firm to extend its reach in Europe while doubling down on its freight business in North America.

Since its 2017 debut, Uber Freight said it has specialized in the connection of truck drivers with shipping companies, acting as a broker. The company, a standalone subsidiary of the rideshare giant, has competed with traditional shipping companies like DHL International.

During the first quarter, Uber Freight’s revenue increased 57 percent to $199 million, with losses widening during that time by 121 percent, to $64 million.

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