Emergency ‘Uber’ Food Deliveries in Ukraine


Uber has built a “private-label” version of its delivery platform to help the United Nations deliver food and water supplies to war-torn areas of Ukraine, reports BBC.

World Food Programme

The tech firm is working with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). It’s difficult for large delivery trucks to access some parts of Ukraine because of structural damage and the threat of attack.

Uber’s platform enables the WFP to co-ordinate a fleet of smaller vehicles. The WFP is hand-picking its own drivers and vehicles, but some are former Uber drivers who worked in Ukraine before the Russian invasion.

Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi said his firm had given the WFP “their own private-label Uber”.

It’s a bespoke version of the Uber Direct delivery platform which is available commercially – big name customers include Apple and Tesco. Usually, businesses pay Uber a commission per delivery for the service, but the WFP is not being charged.

It can use the software to co-ordinate distribution, and track deliveries and drivers within a 100km range of its warehouses.

Uber Direct delivery platform

The scheme is being trialled in the central city of Dnipro. The hope is that it will be rolled out later across four other cities: Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Chernivtsi.

It’s a customised version of the Uber Direct delivery platform, which is commercially available – notable customers include Apple and Tesco. Businesses typically pay Uber a commission per delivery, but the WFP is not being charged.

Within a 100-kilometer radius of its warehouses, it can use the software to coordinate distribution and track deliveries and drivers.

A great success story

The scheme is being tested in Dnipro, Ukraine’s capital. It is hoped that it will be expanded later to four other cities: Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Chernivtsi. The Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children are among the organizations working to provide emergency supplies to those in need.

Within a few weeks of its initial contact with the World Food Programme, Uber’s platform was up and running.

It’s not like you have a month to get food to people – people have got to get food immediately,” said WFP executive director David Beasley. “You can’t go a few weeks without food, and so using Uber’s technology, their distribution systems, their dispatch systems… it really is a great success story.”

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Source: BBC


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