Uber to test cargo delivery version of popular app initially in Hong Kong
By Dan Boaz
If you haven't yet used the app-based taxi and transportation service Uber chances are you know someone that has. The rise of the company since 2009 has been nothing short of accelerated and today they offer service in over 200 cities in 53 different countries around the world. With a sales model conceived around the Uber app for smartphones, the application allows customers to reserve a vehicle plus driver from their fleet to book a ride and track the whereabouts of the car.
Now Uber is looking to bring their know-how to the cargo/same day delivery market although the jury is out as to whether it'll prove to be just an experiment or a fully fledged launch. The app (and website) allows you to enter pick up and drop off locations, select a vehicle type and get instant pricing quotes and confirm your ride, it'll be interesting to see how well this translates to a cargo and delivery environment.
Uber launched UberCargo last week exclusively and initially in Hong Kong. The new cargo app allows customers to reserve a cargo van and driver with the same point-to-point reservation system and they even promise that the driver will help to load the vehicle with you. It's not yet apparent if UberCargo is looking to compete with same day delivery specialists and b2b same day delivery services but they are firmly targeting urban residents who either don't have a car or need to move something too large for the vehicle that they have.
Typically it might be used by people looking to move a piece of furniture they've purchased, send something from point A to point B or perhaps assist someone moving to a new apartment. Considering that pricing is based on time as well as distance it doesn't truly lend itself to anything other than a quick load and unload.
Overall though I don't think UberCargo is destined to secure much more than a small niche market in commercial same day delivery, but what will be interesting to watch is how they use their technology specifically for cargo and goods, just as they have done to date for the very successful taxi service they offer. How do think this new service will do? We welcome your comments.
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