Today in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, Uber is barging in with a behind-the-scenes service aimed at businesses who wish to deliver their wares, whatever they be, to customers via Uber's vast network of driver-partners. But current users of Uber and UberEats, the company's existing app-based food delivery arm, shouldn't expect to notice a thing.
Instead, UberRush is a back-end business solution for what's known in the biz as "last-mile delivery," the final push to get products to customers. As Uber Technologies wrote in a press release blog post, the Rush has already been testing in New York, and furthermore, the SF-based company has been less than secretive about their aspirations as a "logistics" operation. Specifically, CEO Travis Kalanick has called Uber an “urban logistics network," and we've known that they've been prepping such a delivery service since April.
“UberRush is now a business for Uber,” Jason Droege, who oversees the program and is head of the nebulous, all-powerful "UberEverything" division tells Bloomberg. “It is no longer an experiment.”
“If every local business delivered, we’d all save time and energy,” the Chronicle further quotes Droege. “But most simply can’t. Day-to-day operations are already complicated and delivery can cause all sorts of logistical headaches.”
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Uber will collect a fee of $5 to $7 on each delivery. Businesses can pay that, or pass it on to customers in full or in part.
The Journal also notes that "Uber has allied with technology providers who work with hundreds of small businesses" rather than forge those relationships from scratch themselves. That means partnering with the likes of Shopify and Clover, sales platforms many merchants already use, by baking an Uber delivery option into their software.
The olden days of Ubering to the flower shop or pharmacy are over! However, in San Francisco and elsewhere, your rides and deliveries might be interrupted by a protest of UberX drivers planned for this weekend.
The Chronicle reports that "disgruntled UberX drivers and ex-drivers plan to refrain from working this weekend, terming their action a strike — although technically only employees can stage a strike." That's a mean thing to point out. "About 1,200 drivers nationwide have said they will participate in the work stoppage and protests on Friday outside Uber’s offices in various cities," the paper adds.