13cabs is launching a new delivery service, turning cabbies into delivery drivers during the coronavirus crisis

Taxis are being made available for deliveries in Australia, pivoting during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • 13cabs launched a new delivery service called 13things on Friday.
  • Customers and businesses can order delivery in the same way they would order a cab.
  • Pickup time is promised to only be 10 minutes for most deliveries, with normal cab fares applying.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

As Australians bunker down at home, the taxi industry is feeling every bit of the country’s virtual lockdown, leading the nation’s biggest cab network to pivot.

13cabs is looking to redeploy many of its 40,000 drivers as delivery drivers to ferry goods around Australian cities at a time the government has largely instructed people to stay home. It calls the service 13things.

“While 13things has been in the pipeline for some time it has never felt as essential a service as it is right now,” chief operating officer Steven Overell said announcing the new feature. “By launching 13things today, we hope to give our Australian community piece of mind that they’ll be able to access all the things, like medicines and groceries, that they require while adjusting to these unusual circumstances.”

Customers and businesses can order the delivery much the same way they would a cab, by using the app or calling the company’s taxi line, as well as ordering a delivery directly via its new website.

“Once a delivery order is placed, the average pick up time for a parcel is 10 minutes,” Overell said, noting the service costs the same as the cab fare would, without any surge pricing.

“If you get your thing delivered during business hours within a 3-kilometre radius, in Melbourne you will pay under $13 and in Sydney under $15,” its website promises.

With many Australians having ditched the taxi industry for ride-share services like Uber, Ola and DiDi due to pricing, it’s unclear just how many will be willing to pay taxi fare rates to move packages around. Not least of which at a time when many are losing their jobs and Australia heads into a recession.

But for those who need something moved urgently, and those would rather not leave the house at all during the coronavirus outbreak, it may prove to boost business at a time the taxi industry needs it most.


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