Uber this week announced a partnership with startup "Cargo," which aims to increase the wages of rideshare drivers by providing them with small containers filled with goods that riders can buy during their trips (via TechCrunch). Despite the new partnership with Uber, Cargo will still support drivers of other ridesharing apps.
Cargo works by providing drivers with a free Cargo box filled with free products and free shipping on all product replenishments, as long as the driver has at least a 4.7 rating. When the rider gets in the car, they can browse which items are in their driver's Cargo box by opening the Cargo mobile site, add the products to their cart, and checkout on their smartphone.
Payment methods supported include all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, and Paypal.
“It’s always a pleasant surprise when you’re in an Uber and the driver offers you a bottle of water or a piece of gum, but up to this point these perks have usually been on the driver’s dime,” said Keith Hensley, Business Development Lead, Uber. “Cargo took note of this and created an innovative model that aims to bring new value to riders and drivers. We’re looking forward to working with Cargo to develop and scale in a way that makes the most sense for our customers.”
When complete, drivers earn $1 per order and average $100 earnings per month, according to the company. Since its launch last summer, about 7,000 rideshare drivers have made more than $1 million with Cargo. On an annual basis, drivers earn an average of $1,200/year, and the top 10 percent of drivers make $3,600/year in income.
Items in Cargo boxes include energy bars, gum, mints, various snacks, beauty items, beverages, electronics like earbuds and small phone chargers, and free samples of many of these products. Riders will still have to leave the Uber app to pay for Cargo items by visiting the mobile site (which they can do by scanning the QR code on their driver's Cargo box), but Uber says it "envisions" integrating Cargo into its own app down the road.
The partnership with Uber is beginning first in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where Uber drivers can pick up a Cargo box at one of Uber's driver support locations. Following the initial rollout, Uber says it hopes to continue expanding support for Cargo in more cities.