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Uber launches trailer rental business

Uber Technologies Inc. on Oct. 17 unveiled Powerloop, a trailer rental business affiliated with the company's Uber Freight division.

Uber Freight is an app developed by the ride-sharing firm to match carriers with shippers. Through Powerloop, eligible Uber Freight carriers will be able to rent trailers and allow them to participate in a new trailer pool model that lets the carriers pick up and drop the trailers at shipper facilities.

According to Uber, this system allows loading and unloading to happen without the driver present by decoupling the power unit from the trailer, thereby bringing down the costs and waiting time for both shippers and drivers.

"By renting trailers, Powerloop is lowering the barrier to entry to trailer pool programs and unlocking access to drop freight for trucking companies of all sizes," the company said in an email to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Uber said it has already started the trailer rental service in Texas, where it is being used by a number of companies, including brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA/NV, as well as a number of Uber Freight carriers.

The San Francisco-based company is expected to go public in early 2019. Two U.S. banks have reportedly valued Uber at up to $120 billion in an IPO, according to The Wall Street Journal.