What’s better than a vending machine filled with anything you might possibly need while on the go? An Uber or Lyft that includes a mini version of exactly that. Cargo is a new in-car service that connects riders with a variety of products, all packed neatly into a clear box resting on the center console of the car.
Founded by former Birchbox employees last year, the company recently launched in Boston and New York and has thousands of signups in over 40 states. Its mission is to not only provide riders with essential items while traveling but to also help drivers earn extra money and higher ratings.
Drivers earn money for each product they sell along with bonuses for hitting sales goals. On average, a Cargo driver can earn anywhere between $100-150 per month, with some earning almost $300. It might also be the incentive Uber needs to keep the firm from losing more drivers.
We tried CarGo out for ourselves and the experience was pretty seamless. Upon entering the Uber, you’re greeted with a box of goodies placed conveniently in the middle of the vehicle. There were tons of different things to choose from like Skittles and Rice Krispies treats for hungry passengers, along with Advil and 5-hour Energy shots for anyone in a slump.
Considering it all started by pairing up with Uber drivers, purchasing a few clear containers, a card reader, and some sign-making — Cargo has definitely seen some major upgrades since its early stages, Jeff Cripe the company’s co-founder and CEO, told Digital Trends. Now, it is one of the few startups granted access to Uber’s API.
The process to purchase an item is simple. You type in the URL and code listed on the Cargo box into the web browser on your phone, and the menu of items will appear on your screen along with the price. After you choose what you’d like and type in your credit card information, your driver will receive a confirmation text message with the specific items you chose to then hand off to you.
There are also some complimentary items available to add to your purchases, to encourage passengers to try new products they’ve yet to discover. Although they’re still in their early stages, they include exclusive rideshare offerings from familiar names like Mars and Kellogg’s.
While some may wonder why there’s no actual app in place, going through a web browser won’t take up space on your phone. Not to mention, the company’s goal is to ultimately integrate with Uber in the future — that way, it’ll conveniently be available in the Uber app.
It’s definitely not something we expected to be a necessity, but experiencing it first-hand proved otherwise. In a city like New York everyone is always in a hurry and the subways are almost always running on delays, so the next best option is a Lyft or an Uber. Having items like granola bars, phone chargers, and even beauty products on hand — along with USB charge ports connected to the box — is a great way to boost your stamina during those long work day or nights.