Cab hailing giant Uber plans to expand its recently launched business to customer (B2C) and customer to customer (C2C) logistics services in India on account of the falling revenue in its traditional ride-hailing services.
The move from the US-based cab aggregator comes at a time when the demand for cabs, rentals, and shared vehicles is at an all-time low due to the pandemic. Some rental firms that previously have large fleets of two-wheelers have also started selling off their assets.
Prabhjeet Singh, President of Uber (1) India and South Asia, said,
“Coming out of the lockdown we are assessing our rider’s needs in the new normal and will determine which services we may want to continue along with launching new ones. Currently, all our services, including Uber Essential, last-mile delivery, and Uber Connect, are functional.”
With logistics networks falling apart across the nation, startups like Swiggy, Uber, Drivezy, and Dunzo saw an opportunity and started offering its own fleet of drivers and vehicles as last-mile logistics support to big offline retail firms and e-commerce companies.
Providing Essential Services During Pandemic
Uber introduced its C2C delivery service Uber Connect earlier this year that allows residents to send and receive items from each other within the city limits. Users can also order essential items from the nearby retail store using this service by Uber.
Uber stated that it had completed over 100k home deliveries in 11 cities through partnerships with Big Basket, Spencers, Flipkart, Nature’s Basket, Tender Cuts, Delhivery, and Medlife, among others, allowing the cab-hailing platform to deliver essential supplies under its last-mile delivery service.
Singh added that some of the most ordered items from Uber Connect include medicines, books, clothes, office equipment like keyboards, monitors, and food items. Chennai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru emerged as the cities with the highest volume of orders on Uber Connect ever since the lockdown began, forcing everyone to stay inside their homes.
In addition to home deliveries, Uber also continued its cab services under its exclusive Uber Essential services that offered emergency rides to locations like hospitals and pharmacies. Over 45k trips were registered under Uber Essential services across Mumbai, Nashik, Mohali, Ludhiana, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna, Kolkata, and Varanasi.