Sidecar, a ride-sharing provider, has expanded its services to include package delivery in addition to people. The Sidecar API integrates with different apps and services (e.g., food ordering services, florists, grocers) and includes packages in addition to its traditional taxi-esque services. In the blog post announcement, Sidecar described the expansion as "People + Packages." The addition of package delivery to its core business enables same-day delivery at a price unmatched by traditional carriers.
Sidecar started a pilot program for the new service six months ago, and the company said the results were astounding. All parties in a transaction benefited from the combined service, according to Sidecar: Delivery times were reduced, prices were reduced and driver commissions increased dramatically. The added service puts more Sidecar drivers on the streets, which benefits Sidecar users. Sidecar now expects same-day package delivery to represent half of its business by the end of 2015.
EAT24, a popular online ordering service and People + Packages pilot partner, reported that the new service cut delivery time in half and restaurants doubled revenue when Sidecar drivers delivered. Sidecar believes that it can continue to improve the model and eventually guarantee delivery in less than one hour. Sidecar's delivery-as-a-service model uses a combination of API-driven partner integration and crowdsourced drivers that continues to disrupt a massive industry.
Moving people and freight in the same vessel is not a new concept. Airlines have long reduced costs and increased revenue by shipping cargo alongside passenger bags. However, Sidecar works on a micro level compared to airliners. Sidecar's ability to focus on individuals rather than groups presents a unique opportunity to scale and retract as business demands. Keep an eye out for further developments from Sidecar.