Logistics Can Learn From Uber Approach

Uber’s comprehensive transformation of taxi services has inspired many other sectors to take a similar approach. While the concept cannot be applied in every realm, there is evidence of attempts at “Uberization” everywhere you look. Whether it’s laundry, pizza deliveries, private jets, or even legal services, the influence of Uber is everywhere.

What qualifies as Uberization? First of all, these types of systems do not own or operate assets. Drivers listed with Uber provide their own cars and must maintain them. The drivers are also part of the “gig economy” in the sense that they are providing one-off services and are not guaranteed stable employment or any type of benefits.

It’s also highly convenient for customers. People can get the service wherever they are, and it also comes at a lower price than traditional taxis. People can pay using PayPal and credit cards, and everything takes place electronically.

When it comes to last-mile delivery, it’s easy to see how this approach can be applied to logistics. However, when it comes to the rest of the logistics chain, it’s not quite so obvious. First of all, transporting products in bulk to distribution centers in any kind of cost-efficient manner is always going to require big vehicles such as trains, boats and trucks, and there simply aren’t enough of these in existence for customers to be able to summon one right to their door every time they need one. When specific conditions are needed, such as temperature-controlled storage, the choices are even more limited and a certain level of expertise becomes necessary.

Uber Branching Out

Nevertheless, Uber itself is already branching out into logistics. It’s eyeing the parcel business, and it’s also using bicycle messengers in New York City. It is also starting up the UberEATS service. What sets this food delivery service apart is that the typical steps of a takeout order are somewhat different. Food is prepared and kept in Uber vehicles so it will be ready to be delivered immediately after the customer places the order. It will be interesting to see if this concept proves to be successful and if so, how it can be used by other types of businesses.

This blog post was based off an article from Global Logistics Media. View the original here.