Uber rolled out its UberRUSH on-demand delivery service in San Francisco, New York City and Chicago on Wednesday to compete with Postmates. Uber argues its infrastructure model is different from Postmates' marketplace model since it integrates directly with a merchant's checkout process. Photo by Mahathir Mohd Yasin/Shutterstock
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Ride-sharing company Uber launched its on-demand delivery service, UberRUSH, on Wednesday in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
Bicycles, human power and cars will be used to deliver local products to shoppers -- similar to the service provided by competitor Postmates, which delivers food and other items from retailers. UberRUSH will only service local shops at first.
In New York City, bike couriers and on-foot delivery people will make the rounds. In Chicago, drivers will ferry products to shoppers and in San Francisco, both cars and bicycles will carry packages.
For users with the Uber mobile app, an UberRUSH icon will appear in Chicago and San Francisco. This option will allow the request of a courier to deliver an item.
UberRUSH will integrate the option to get a product delivered directly into the merchant's checkout process. An order chosen for UberRUSH delivery will trigger an alert for the merchant who can then ready the package for pickup by an UberRUSH delivery person. UberRUSH drivers, like current Uber drivers, will be provided the package's address of origin and destination. Upon arrival, the customer will receive a notification that the driver has arrived with his or her package.
UberEVERYTHING head Jason Droege said, "Postmates is building a marketplace. We see this more as infrastructure."
Postmates, which also released an on-demand delivery program Wednesday, said 75 percent of its transactions involve delivery of food, and Uber has its own UberEATS service for food delivery. Uber said a combination of UberRUSH and UberEATS will yield maximum profits for the company and for delivery drivers, who will likely need to take multiple orders in one run.
The average Uber delivery in New York costs a customer $5 to $7 to request, similar to Postmates' average delivery cost of $7. Uber said thousands of merchants in New York City have partnered with the service, yet Postmates says its on-demand service works with more than 2,500 merchants across 40 U.S. cities with the help of 18,000 couriers and counting.