The logistics industry—long dominated by UPS, FedEx and USPS—is officially under attack from the technology sector.
Amazon delivery drones are seemingly on the horizon, and Google is pitching same-day delivery in New York and Los Angeles where order fulfillment is carried out by retail partners. And now Uber is testing a feature called Corner Store in Washington, D.C., that lets consumers purchase from a selection of around 1,000 household items to be delivered by the mobile company's army of drivers.
Uber's test will last at least a few weeks and is definitely intriguing. From the company's blog post, it appears that drivers will claim delivery requests from a queue, and then consumers will receive a text message with a link to an ordering page. The driver will eventually visit a nearby store to buy the needed items and bring them to the customer's home or place of work—free of charge.
The inventory Uber is offering, from allergy medicine to envelopes, seems to be designed so drivers can pick up everything at a single store that offers an array of products.
The development comes four months after Uber introduced Uber Rush, a bicycle- and pedestrian-based delivery service that's piloting in New York.
Indeed, technology companies are zeroing in on how to take bits of market share from the FedExes of the world.
How successful their disruptions become is certainly up in the air—but so soon may be Amazon's drones.