Earlier this summer, we saw Uber experiment with UberRUSH, a courier service in New York City. The car service seems to be testing the waters for another service, announcing it will move Atlanta college students and Nashville residents this weekend.
Teaming up with existing moving service Bellhops, UberMovers will provide free and professional moving services for up to a half hour for students in Atlanta between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The same moving services are available in Nashville on Saturday and Sunday. UberMovers are free for new Uber users, and for a charge by the half hour for existing users.
Uber will send over two professional Bellhops movers and some free Uber gear to those using the service.
The company says its movers can help students lift mattresses, move furniture across campus, unload moving pods and remove trash after unpacking. The service can’t help pick up large items off-site or help with electrical services like mounting TVs. To move an item across campus, you need to let Uber know up front the location because they’ll be scheduling due to distance.
A spokesman for Uber told me there would be several moving teams in each location, but on its blog it warned students that there will likely be a high demand for these services.
At first glance the free moving service seems like promotions Uber has tested in the past like ice cream trucks and weddings during gay pride. But moving could be an area Uber might explore in the future, especially if those who believe the company will move beyond driving and into logistics are correct.
Other tech solutions for moving already exist. Yesterday, Julian Chokkattu covered Buddytruk, a peer-to-peer moving service like Lyft that allows anyone with a truck to apply to be a mover. Bellhops, the service Uber is teaming up with for its moving tests, provides student movers to help with local moves in about one hundred cities in the South and on the West Coast.
But especially on college campuses like mine where the service is already the preferred method to get to and from bars, Uber could have a strong moving business. Bellhops might be one of the largest names in college moving services right now, but Uber’s advantage is that most are already familiar with its driving services and have the app. By teaming up, Uber and Bellhops could profit from the many carless students in need of moving help.
In my three years of college, the only times I have had to borrow a friend’s car is to move. On my campus several student-run services and a fraternity philanthropy project offers moving services for students, but they require advanced booking and can sometimes be pricey. The on-demand nature of Uber would ease moving for last-minute college students like me who fail to plan ahead.