Uber has unceremoniously launched its parcel service, “Uber Connect” in Kenya. Uber has been pursuing a global shift towards delivery services in a bid to diversify from its ride-hailing venture.
Uber Connect will provide an affordable same day delivery option to deliver packages, primarily transported via motorcycles. This new service will be priced at the same rate as its other motorbike service, “Uber Boda.”
The base fare will be KES 55, and the rest of the distance will be billed at the rate of KES 14 per kilometer and KES 1 per minute on the road.
Currently the weight limit for packages has been set at 15kg for each.
While the service is definitely convenient, customers are urged not to ship packaged worth more than KES 5,300 as Uber is not insuring the packages. Dispatching items worth more than the stated amount shall be at the customer’s own risk.
Uber’s terms and conditions list numerous items which customers are not allowed to send via Uber Connect. These include:
2. Illegal items
3. Firearms, weapons, ammunition, and their parts
5. Highly perishable food or beverages
6. Pharmaceutical products, over the counter medications, vitamins or supplements
7. Recreational drugs, drug paraphernalia or tobacco products
8. Money, gift cards, lottery tickets, or transferrable securities
9. Dangerous or hazardous items including explosives, poisonous or flammable items
10. Fragile items
11. Sexual aids, obscene or pornographic material
12. Livestock, regulated species or animal parts, blood or fluids
13. Any items for which you do not have permission to send
14. Stolen goods
In other parts of the world, Uber kicked off its delivery services in April, launching delivery services for groceries in various countries through Uber Direct.
Uber now joins Little and Bolt in the package delivery space in Kenya. Bolt launched its delivery service in May of this year. Little Cab already had this service, but went on to include ambulance services on its platform.
They collectively are in direct competition with other delivery companies like Sendy which has maintained a strong position in the logistics sector for a while.
Uber has also been very busy on the food delivery front, most recently acquiring American food delivery company, Postamates in a US$ 2.65 Billion deal, in a bid to make its own Uber Eats service profitable.
Diversifying is very crucial for Uber which reported a US$ 2.9 Billion loss earlier this year, largely due to the corona virus pandemic’s effect on its core business of ride-hailing.