Uber Eats Japan trials delivery walkers

Uber Eats Japan is trialling food delivery by walking couriers as opposed to those riding bikes or scooters.

The thesis behind the trial is that couriers on foot spend less time looking for parking spaces and over shorter distances can get the food from the restaurant to the shopper more quickly than by bike or motorbike.

“Walking can be quicker and more efficient than riding a bike for short-distance trips because of narrow streets, stairs and the need to find the right parking space,” says a spokesperson for Uber Eats Japan. “Given the scale at which we operate, delivery on foot is becoming an interesting option.

“The pilot is also widening the access to earning opportunities for delivery partners. People who don’t own a bicycle can start delivering on Uber Eats simply by walking. People who currently deliver by bike are able to switch between bike and walking on their app before going online,” they said.

Walking couriers work well in denser urban environments. Uber Eats Japan is not the first hot food delivery company to use walking couriers in Asia. The concept has been trialled successfully in South Korea by Coupang Eats as well as convenience store chain GS25. Malaysia has Pink Walkers doing the same, while GrabFood is operating with the concept in Singapore and the Philippines.