Uber Is Shutting Down Its Little-Used UberRush Delivery Service

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Not long ago, on-demand package pickup Shyp closed its doors, saying it had failed to achieve critical mass for its explosive growth strategy and a last-minute pivot to business customers was too little, too late. Now UberRush, Uber’s delivery service for merchants in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, is following suit and will soon be out of business.


TechCrunch reported on Friday that the NYC Rush team sent out an email to customers informing them the service would shutter at the end of June 2018, adding that while the company believes in “big bold bets,” they had to move on to other applications of Uber technology. The site confirmed to TechCrunch the June 30th shutdown date was official:

“We’re winding down UberRUSH deliveries and ending services by the end of June,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We’re thankful for our partners and hope the next three months will allow them to make arrangements for their delivery needs. We’re already applying a lot of the lessons we learned together to our UberEats food delivery business in over 200 global markets across more than 100,000 restaurants.”

TechCrunch noted that it had long since forgotten the service even existed, which is generous given its existence at all may have eluded notice for many in the first place. In April 2017, Uber discontinued UberRush courier service for restaurants, encouraging them to switch to its UberEats program. It wasn’t a good omen for the already minor Uber division, given that Quartz reported at the time that former employees said restaurants were the bulk of its business and that UberEats was simply more lucrative:

While Uber will likely continue to face supply constraints from its Eats push, the food delivery platform offers a more attractive value proposition than Rush did. That’s because with Eats, customers place their orders through Uber’s app. The company collects a delivery fee ($5 in most cities), a cut of around 30% from the restaurant, and a cut of 25% to 30% from the courier on each order, rather than the flat mileage-based fees on Rush.

In any case, the market for people willing to pay premium prices for somebody to go pick up their packages is apparently a good bit smaller than the market for having someone pick up your pizza.

This is hardly Uber’s biggest recent loss, though, as the company has continued to shed billions of dollars as part of an exhaustive growth strategy that is hitting a wall in some markets. The company recently bailed on its Southeast Asia division, opting to sell it and the 600 million potential customers living in the region to competitor Grab in a deal that has attracted the attention of Singaporean anti-competition authorities.




sans frontieres

Uber recently pulled out of SE Asia as well, which absolutely sucks (I live in Bangkok, for reference). They cleared out the Singapore offices, giving workers only a few hours to pack up there stuff and leave. They sold their business stake to Grab Taxi, which is a much less useful app. They shuttered Uber Eats as well, but you can still order through Uber Eats as of yesterday. Lots of people complaining on the BKK Facebook groups about it.

The biggest annoyance for me was that most Uber drivers in BKK were college educated and doing it as a side gig. They had very clean and safe cars and most drivers spoke really good English. Grab Taxi just can’t compete with that. Grab drivers are just normal taxi drivers who charge a surcharge in addition to the normal taxi fare. Grab drivers will also regularly cancel on you with no notice, leaving you high and dry when you expect to be picked up. In probably 50 Uber rides, I only had one cancellation. Gonna miss Uber, as it was super useful for me.