Uber has announced the launch of Uber Connect, which allows users to send packages through the app. This feature provides a cost-effective, on-demand, no-contact delivery solution for both family and friends.

Even though restrictions were eased in Level 2 of the nationwide lockdown, social distancing is still imperative, and Uber Connect aims to keep users connected while encouraging social distancing.

“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, General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Whether it is siblings returning forgotten clothing items to each other or a mother sending nappies to a friend who has run out, users can simply send it by requesting Uber Connect through the Uber app. We’re excited to see the creative ways that users will continue to do their part by staying home, but using technology to stay connected,” Hiemstra added.

How it works

  1. Package the items in a sealed box or bag, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.
  2. Type in the destination in your Uber app.
  3. Choose Uber Connect as the vehicle option (you may have to swipe up for the option)
  4. Follow the notifications: You’ll get notifications providing instructions on how to help ensure a smooth pickup and when your delivery-partner is arriving, just as you would with an UberX trip.
  5. As you see the motorbike approach in the app, you should head outside and load your item into the topbox*.
  6. Share the trip with your recipient so that they can track the trip and meet the delivery partner outside to retrieve the package from the delivery partner.
  7. This service is limited to areas where Uber Eats operates.

Safety remains a top priority and Uber Connect follows all relevant hygiene and safety protocols. These include the requirement of masks for all drivers, as well as the completion of a safety checklist which reminds drivers to wash their hands and sanitise their relevant delivery bags. Senders and recipients will also need to follow a checklist to ensure social distancing measures are followed.

Packages sent using Uber Connect must total less than the equivalent of R1500 in value per trip, be less than 15kgs, and fit comfortably in the topbox of a motorbike.

Prohibited items include but are not limited to: medication, recreational drugs, and dangerous or illegal items. If the recipient is not available to receive the package, the delivery partner may contact you to resolve the issue. “Uber does not maintain insurance coverage for package loss, damage, or theft,” Heimstra said.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.