Uber has started a new service through its Uber and Uber Eats apps. The Wednesday announcement said that customers would be able to return package shipping through its apps. The feature called “return a package” will be available at a flat fee. Uber drivers will pick the packages and drop them at UPS, USPS, or FedEx.
Uber said that customers can send up to five packages at a time for a fee of $5 which has been discounted to $3 for Uber One members. This program also has standard tipping options for package delivery. It will be featured as an addition to the Uber Connect Program. A new feature has been launched to build on this existing feature, according to Uber.
The Uber Connect Program was launched in 2020. The ride hailing and delivery company offers a same day delivery option for customers. They can send packages to and from destinations that are in the locality.
Packages sent through Uber Connect must be prepaid. They also must be sealed and have to be in ready to ship condition. They must have a weight below 30 pounds and a value below $100.
The San Francisco based ride hailing company will initially roll out these services in almost 5,000 cities in the U.S.
Uber maintains shipping guidelines. Items such as money, gift cards and items that are termed as fragile cannot be shipped using the app.
Uber offers live tracking of the customer’s packages in its Uber app. After the delivery is completed, customers will receive a photo of the receipt.
United States Postal Services offers free pickup during regular mail times. This pickup has to be scheduled by customers.
UPS charges $13 when it is same-day pickup but discounts the rate to $8 for future pickups.
FedEx charges $4 per package for one-time express package pickup but the rate increases to $16 on Saturdays.
National Retail Federation, a trade group has reported that returns in 2022 were 16.5 percent of the annual online shopping. This amounts to approximately $212 billion worth of items and Uber wants to enter this lucrative shipping segment, which is expected to surge in January, with holiday returns.
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