Uber Rush is a live courier system from the company behind Uber taxis. At present, this service only operates in the US, and is in fact limited to San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
The principle is very similar to Uber taxis in that any individual can register as an Uber driver. The customer books a local driver to take their item from point A to point B, and the driver can set their availability according to their needs. The only difference with the original Uber model that is now established in the UK, is that the driver is carrying items rather than people.
The advantage for the customer is that it offers a quicker alternative to standard parcels, and is good for companies and individuals that might not have a regular flow of standard parcels to go out. The limitation comes from the availability of drivers compared to the size of the market. Never mind the UK, the limited service area means that the majority of Americans cannot use the service.
As far as the driver is concerned, there is already a way for self-employed courier drivers to earn money from courier work. MyHermes drivers get a fee for every item they deliver, and this can be a good part time employment solution. Such arrangements have been in the spotlight recently though, because many drivers end up earning less than the minimum wage. The fact that they use their own vehicles and fuel means that there is an increased emphasis on completing a high number of deliveries in a given timeframe.
The most similar arrangement to Uber Rush in the UK is Nimber, which is a marketplace connecting ‘senders’ and ‘bringers’. The sender publishes a job and one or more bringers can bid for it. An ideal scenario would be a bringer who happens to be travelling in the vicinity already, and they receive extra money for including this errand as part of their journey. Courier drivers can be rated according to a traditional feedback system and the items are insured up to £500.
One of the most reliable ways to get an item delivered is to use a specialist same day courier. The vehicles and drivers are dedicated to that profession and they are used to tackling all sorts of journeys and cargo. The costs are significantly higher than if you were to use an economy service, but the premium comes from the fact that your item does not go through a delivery network.