Uber’s latest expansion, Uber Connect, has officially launched in South Africa, where customers can now leverage the service to ship small parcels to friends, families, business connections, or anyone in-between.
Available now in the main Uber app on iOS and Android, the service enables customers to select the shipping option as they would a conventional e-hailing taxi.
Intended for small-scale deliveries, Uber Connect allows customers to ship items that are less than 15kg, are valued at less than R1500 ZAR, and can fit in the top-box of a motorbike. Almost without saying, that excludes dangerous or illegal items, medication, or recreational drugs.
As of now, the service is available in all areas that are already serviced by UberEats. Users making a delivery through Uber Connect will be able to receive notifications as their package is shipped between destinations and share the progress of the delivery with the recipient as well.
With social distancing and lockdown regulations in view, drivers will be required to wear masks, complete a safety checklist, wash their hands, and sanitize their delivery bags regularly.
Uber Connect was first launched in 25 cities in April this year, and has now expanded to South Africa – namely, the service is available in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Users will be shown an upfront charge when using the service. Uber Connect will charge users a booking fee of R10, a per kilometre fee of 5.45, and a minimum fare of R25 ZAR.
The idea at least bears some semblance to UberRush – a now-cancelled API system that Uber intended to use to allow small businesses to ship packages and orders to customers.
What are your thoughts? Would you use Uber Connect to ship packages or handle other goods that require transport? Let us know in the comments below.