Uber launches the UberRUSH API, a “custom delivery solution” with a limited set of partners and locations:
With the launch of UberRUSH in October, we set out to help local businesses improve delivery in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco through our online product and platform partners like Shopify and delivery.com. Since then, thousands of local businesses have started using UberRUSH to save their customers time and hassle.
We’re excited about how this product supports local businesses, but we also know that a lot of companies – and their customers – are looking for an easy way to get items delivered more quickly. Many companies rely on automated operations, have complex logistics networks or are in need of a more flexible solution that can fit their business and customers’ needs. That’s why beginning today, we’re introducing the UberRUSH API. Currently available to a closed set of partners, this new API will help businesses big and small build on-demand delivery right into their existing infrastructure and apps. (..)
Even for the most sophisticated and complex logistics companies, we believe getting packages from A to B should be as easy as getting a ride. That’s why we’re working with platforms like SAP who is the market leader in enterprise application software. We’ve also partnered with Bergen Logistics and Trade Global, who are the industry leaders and logistics backbone for top global retailers like Rebecca Minkoff and Cole Haan. Now they too can use the power of UberRUSH to integrate on-demand delivery directly into every business in their network with a few lines of code.
Important to note about a solution like UberRUSH is how similar it is to AWS (one reason why the latter is so successful):
UberRUSH scales with your business. Deliver as many orders as you need and make real-time changes as your business changes. Whether you want to make 27 deliveries or 2,700, you can rely on UberRUSH to handle them all.
In “UberRush And The Battle For The Last Mile” we already talked about the move to B2B API strategies in on-demand logistics and the last mile, with UberRUSH among others not directly interacting with customers:
This makes a lot of sense not least because retailers don’t lose to much power over their customers this way. But also because it simply fits with how online retail and logistics work together. P2P on-demand for the last mile just becomes another logistics option.
There’s no need to worry about selecting a payment processing platform. The UberRUSH API integrates with platforms such as Clover, Shopify, ChowNow, and Delivery.com. This lets companies buld deliveries into their day-to-day operations without the hassles of burdensome installations.
Uber is making the UberRUSH API available to a limited set of partners to start, including Nordstroms, 1800Flowers, Rent The Runway, Curbside, EatStreet, Olo, WhichWich, and others. These companies have already put the API to use in their own apps, servicing customers in the three launch cities. Uber says it will expand availability of the API to power on-demand delivery in more apps and locations over the next few months.
The upside for Ubers business is obvious. The expansion into delivery of items is not only a new business in itself but also strengthens Uber’s core business by further minimizing downtime for drivers. Programmable Web:
The API and its toolset may be appealing to small businesses that may rely on expensive courier services, but Uber has its sights set on larger platforms. It is working with SAP, Bergen Logistics, and Trade Global to help improve the logistics for those corps’ own retail and delivery customers. The idea is to keep Uber drivers busy whether or not they are ferrying passengers from Point A to Point B. The busier Uber’s drivers are, the more money the drivers and Uber makes.
In other words: Expect Uber to expand the UberRUSH API heavily this year. I would not be surprised if it would be available to every interested company in every area Uber operates in by the end of the year; with extended functionality to boot.