In a post last August, I made the point that the competitive landscape in logistics today is like a single-elimination playoff game in baseball, with industry leaders facing young upstarts in a win-or-go-home battle. And I pointed to Uber as one of those upstarts, with its UberRUSH service as an example. Well, Uber is taking another step in providing logistics services with its announcement of UberCARGO this week, which the company is testing in Hong Kong. Here are some excerpts from the blog post:
With UberCARGO, your goods travel like a VIP. 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 & costly delivery arrangements [emphasis mine].
With UberCARGO, a van arrives wherever you want it to be in minutes. You can load your items in the back of the van yourself or request the driver’s assistance if you need an extra hand. Deliveries can easily be tracked in real-time through the app, the item’s location can be shared with the recipient and you can even ride along with your goods so you’ll have ease of mind that your items are safe.
Like I’ve said before, when it comes to logistics, there is a lot of experimenting going on in the industry, especially by non-traditional players like Uber, Google, Amazon, and others. Most of these experiments will fail, but you only need one to succeed to disrupt the industry. Third party logistics providers (3PLs) should not ignore or brush aside these developments, or they might find themselves locked out of new opportunities.