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Contxto – With quarantines, users have reduced their need to travel, but still need to get items moved about. Consequently, last-mile delivery startups are “having a moment.” But so as to not miss out on all that action, ride-hailing platforms like Mexican Pronto and more recently, Colombian Picap have shifted to offer parcel deliveries.
To that end, Picap launched two new services in Mexico recently: “Pibox” and “Picarga.” Both aim to roll out the startup’s 4PL (Fourth Party Logistics) service. In other words, become businesses’ supply chain solver.
Pibox works mainly for e-commerce deliveries and was launched in Colombia earlier this year. Meanwhile, Picarga is a logistics solution for freight. AKA, hauling cargo for larger companies.
And for the individual user who needs something delivered or picked up, there’s always the startups “Pipe” service. Where you can request one of their couriers to run an errand for you:
In sum, this startup is amplifying its range of audiences through product diversification.
Picap and logistics efficiency
Note that the startup still offers its passenger service. However, Picap’s drivers work on motorcycles. Therefore riding around with a stranger on the back of a motorcycle right now (in very close proximity) with the risk of contagion is probably not the best idea.
But that does bring two advantages.
- Related article: Need groceries delivered? This ride-hailing app can help
Unlike Uber that uses a standard vehicle to move passengers, Picap’s use of motorcycles is probably more efficient in terms of logistics speed and saving drivers money.
Both platforms offer a parcel delivery service, yet Picap’s partners may be faster than for their Uber counterparts. And that’s because (reproachable) driving culture and habits in Mexico allow motorcycles to zig zag between cars in traffic, drive on the sidewalk, dodge speed bumps, you get the picture. But that also means a faster service.
Anyway, gas expenses are probably easier on Picap’s drivers. Even if gas is already cheap right now. But every penny counts right?
All in all, ride-hailing companies shifting to package delivery is the new norm in our coronavirus (Covid-19) context.
What’s worth monitoring in coming months is whether originally ride-hailing platforms like Picap further embrace logistics services over passengers—or embrace both.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Colombia!