What Is Uber Flash? New Uber Project Launches, But Not In US Yet.

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What Is Uber Flash? New Uber Project Launches, But Not In US Yet.

What Is Uber Flash? New Uber Project Launches, But Not In US Yet.

What is Uber flash? Until yesterday, I’d never heard of it. Imagine the surprise of finding a new Uber service in your app that you’ve never heard of. Then, imagine asking around, and no one else has heard of it, either. Let’s look at this new service that’s available in several countries but not yet in the US.

What Is Uber Flash?

It’s a package delivery service that costs the same as UberX. The description of the service in the app is:

Send packages without leaving the house.

This tells me you don’t need to ride with the package, but a driver will come to pick it up. The driver will take it from you to the destination. Uber says the idea came from seeking solutions to people being stuck at home, away from friends & family, during quarantine related to COVID-19.

THIS version of Uber Flash is not to be confused with Hong Kong’s Uber Flash, which hails a normal taxi with a meter. It’s also different from Uber Freight, which is a freight-based service and not for sending small items in one-off scenarios.

Where Is Uber Flash Available?

At present, Uber Flash is available in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica & Brazil. It is not nationwide in these countries yet, rolling out in major cities and test markets. Uber seeks to expand the service based on acquiring a similar, grocery-focused delivery company called Cornershop. However, Cornershop operates in Toronto, Miami & Dallas, so these cities could see the start of Uber Flash, as well.

Final Thoughts

This is is an interesting idea. People are stuck at home, they want to send needed items or a gift to friends & family, and now they can use their Uber app. Given that this is not in the U.S. yet, it can’t be offset with your monthly Uber credits from the Amex Platinum Card. It has limited in-roads to North American markets at present, but Uber is always looking to expand.

My personal feeling is that it’s interesting and nice to know that it exists, but I’m not sure if/when I’d use it. Do you think this is a good product? Would you use it if it came to your area?

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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6 COMMENTS

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I would absolutely use it for Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace buying/selling. By a mile the biggest bottleneck trying to use either of those is the time commitment – scheduling a time to meet, stopping whatever I’m in the middle of at that point to drive however far to pick the item up, maybe the person is on time maybe they’re not or they never show. And drives me nuts when exactly what I’m looking for (or the person who wants to buy something of mine) is in a small town 45 minutes from here.

    Interestingly, the one NEXT step Uber could take with this is opening up the platform to buying and selling if they already have the delivery system in place. I’d jump on that so fast it would make your head spin.

    • Wow, I hadn’t thought of that use. That’s a great idea. You don’t need to wait around and can avoid sketchy situations, as long as it’s not a sofa or something big like that.

      • Thanks, but thinking about even furniture…We got an *amazing* deal on what was probably a $2k kitchen table for $400 a couple years ago. Sure it was $20 for the rental, but it was a 20 minute drive, plus the time to find a Home Depot with trucks available, getting over there, picking up, driving it all the way back after we unloaded the table, etc etc etc.

        I would have gladly paid “Uber” $100 to meet me over there and help load and then drop it off, and I’ll bet there are a lot of people with large trucks who would be happy to do that for $100?

        • Probably, but at this stage it’s only UberX cars, which are the smallest, for the package service. They’d need to roll out something bigger to request a van or truck.

  2. I used Grab to send laundry for cleaning when I was in Hanoi. It seemed reasonably commonplace, and it was definitely helpful when I needed it.

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