“You can’t disrupt the freight shipping industry from Silicon Valley.
That’s the most important takeaway from Uber Technologies’ decision to move its fast-growing logistics business to Chicago. San Francisco-based Uber on Monday announced plans to fill more than 450,000 square feet of space at the Old Post Office with 2,000 workers.
Sure, it’s a big coup for the real estate developers who transformed the hulking structure astride the Eisenhower Expressway into downtown’s hottest new business address. And it’s another chance for city leaders to tout a high-profile corporate transplant.
No wonder Uber wants in. But Uber won’t achieve its goals in logistics without steady supplies of industry-level expertise. Unlike in Uber’s ride-hailing business, a smartphone app alone won’t turn logistics upside down.
Uber doesn’t even have the kind of technological edge in logistics that it enjoyed over traditional taxi companies. As my colleague John Pletz has written, local logistics firms pioneered the application of digital technologies to the intricacies of choreographing continuous flows of freight around the country. Uber has plenty to learn from companies like Coyote Logistics (now a unit of UPS), Echo Global Logistics, Four Kites and Project44.” Read More
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