Would you trust Uber?
Philip Ellison 09 January, 2015 at 09:01
Amid a sea of reputational disasters, Uber sails on confidently. The company is currently trialling a new logistics service in Hong Kong; UberCARGO will complete business deliveries, transport large items, and make vans available to help customers move house. Uber piloted a similar programme last summer; UberMOVERS helped students in Atlanta move into their campus accommodation before classes began.
“With UberCARGO, your goods travel like a VIP,” states the official blog. “The same cashless and convenient service you have grown to love through UberBLACK and UberTAXI is now available for all your moving and delivery needs. Whether you’re going cycling in Dragon’s Back, moving a mattress to a new house, riding with a large pet, or sending items to a friend, UberCARGO is for you. If you own a business, UberCARGO provides an easy way to cover on-demand logistical needs without complicated and costly delivery arrangements.”
Pricing is based on the distance of the journey and the complete time taken, from the arrival of the vehicle to the end of unpacking. Drivers will apparently be on hand to help individuals load and unload their belongings. For additional peace of mind, customers can track their items remotely using the Uber app if they’re not riding alongside the goods. Uber piloted a similar programme last summer; UberMOVERS helped students in Atlanta move into their campus accommodation before classes began.
Hong Kong makes sense as a practice ground for UberCARGO, as van rentals are in high demand. Two equivalent companies, Lalamove and GoGoVan, already exist in that market, albeit without the globally recognised Uber brand. Uber’s taxi arm serves 35 cities across the Asia-Pacific region, so if UberCARGO takes off in Hong Kong, it could soon spread.
However, while UberCARGO’s beta feedback is positive so far, the company faces obstacles elsewhere in China. Beijing is currently cracking down on drivers who use Uber and other taxi-hailing apps, which happen to be in direct competition with state-owned cab firms.