Uber wasn’t exactly making huge profits before the entire world ended so I can’t imagine the last few months have been all that kind to the quickly expanding and diversifying ride-sharing app. While catching an Uber to get to work might not be as…safe as it used to be, I have to imagine that Uber’s really pleased to have branched out into food delivery with Uber Eats. Yet that’s clearly not been enough as the company has now announced that a long awaited new feature is being added to its growing list of services it provides: package delivery. While the option to send off parcels via Uber Connect has been used in plenty of international cities, the new extension has finally dropped for South Africa.
Uber Connect is now available for all Uber users in major South African cities, which includes Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Sorry, East London! Guess you’re just not major enough. Uber Connect is designed to allow users to send packages to locations within the general region so don’t go trying to ship a couch over provincial borders because the driver of the Uber Connect motorbike will not be pleased with you at all.
“We have been working tirelessly to find innovative ways to leverage our technology to make it easier than ever to send packages or items while unlocking additional earning opportunities for drivers on our platform,” said Frans Hiemstra, GM of Uber for Sub-Saharan Africa.
So how exactly do you use Uber Connect? Well, if you’ve ordered an Uber ride or food off Uber Eats, then the process will be remarkably similar. Firstly, make sure your Uber app is updated and open it up. Select “Connect” and run through all the terms and conditions, confirm that your package doesn’t have prohibited items and then request your delivery.
You’ll receive a message from the Uber app which you’ll need to reply to with all the recipient’s details and information because how else is the driver meant to know where to go? The driver will swing by your place and you can place the package in the back of top box of their motorbike. Then all you need to do is share the delivery request with the person expecting the package so that they can track the driver’s progress and retrieve their box (or whatever you’re sending) when it arrives.
Just be sure to wear a mask and sanitise properly. Uber’s taking all the necessary precautions and so should you.