Uber Launches Emergency Food Delivery in Ukraine 


Image Source: BBC

Uber has developed a “private-label” version of its delivery technology to assist the UN in delivering food and water supplies to Ukraine’s war-torn territories. 

The tech company is collaborating with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). Large delivery trucks find it difficult to access some sections of Ukraine due to structural damage and the possibility of attack. 

The WFP can coordinate a fleet of smaller vehicles using Uber’s technology. Although the WFP selects its own drivers and vehicles, some are former Uber drivers who operated in Ukraine before Russia’s invasion. 

Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, said his company has provided the WFP with “their own private-label Uber.” 

It’s a customized version of the Uber Direct delivery platform, which is also accessible commercially – huge names like Apple and Tesco are among the company’s customers. Businesses typically pay Uber a commission every delivery, but the WFP is not being charged. 

It may utilize the software within a 100-kilometer radius of its warehouses to coordinate distribution and track deliveries and drivers. 

The concept is being tested in Dnipro, Ukraine’s capital. It is hoped that it will be implemented in four further cities: Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Chernivtsi. 

The Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children are among the assistance organizations trying to offer emergency supplies to those in need. 

Within a few weeks of its first interaction with the World Food Programme, Uber’s platform was up and operating. 

“It’s not like you can wait a month to provide food to people; they need food right now,” WFP executive director David Beasley explained. 

“You can’t go more than a few weeks without food, so with Uber’s technology, distribution systems, and dispatch systems… it’s a huge success story.” 

Uber has had a tumultuous couple of years. Because people stayed at home during the epidemic, the company’s ride-sharing service was severely impacted, and the company was obliged to modify its driver policy, providing them more employment rights. 

Mr. Khosrowshahi claims that when he initially became CEO in 2017, Uber’s delivery arm was in its infancy, but it is now positioned to become its largest service. 

In 2021, restaurant food accounted for 96 percent of Uber’s delivery orders. It was also the first time the 13-year-old company had turned a profit.

Opinions expressed by San Francisco contributors are their own.



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