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Package Delivery Smackdown: Comparing PickMe Flash, Uber Connect, and Pronto Lanka

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Back in the 80s and 90s, my father had limited options for shipping packages to someone in Colombo. He could either use the parcel post service provided by the Sri Lanka Postal Service, send it by Night Mail Train, or rely on a friend or family member travelling to Colombo. If the recipient was in town, my father would personally deliver the package. Private courier services were not as prevalent at that time, and tracking packages during transit was not as easy or convenient as it is now. This was especially challenging in rural Nuwara Eliya where I grew up. Now in 2023, there are many more options available to ship packages not only within the town but also to other counties. In this post, I will be sharing my personal experience with three commonly used shipping services. Depending on what I need to ship, I use either PickMe Flash, Uber Connect, or Pronto Lanka PVT Ltd.

PickMe Flash

Initially, PickMe Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (PVT) Ltd began as an online service for requesting taxis. Later, they expanded their services to include shipping, which is now known as PickMe Flash. If you have used PickMe before to request a taxi, then you’ll find it just as simple to use PickMe Flash for deliveries. There are four transportation options available for you to choose from based on the item you need to ship. You can select Flash, which uses a motorbike, Flash L, which uses a tuk-tuk, Flash XL, which uses a car, or Flash XXL, which uses a truck that can carry items up to 7 feet in height. If you would like, you can ask for a “Proof of Delivery” which involves having a document that confirms the delivery of your shipment. I’m not exactly sure what this document is, though. If you choose to pay in cash for your shipment, you must make the payment when the item is picked up. Although PickMe still has some improvements to make compared to Uber Connect, it still generally works well for me.

Uber Connect

Just like PickMe Uber Technologies Inc. began as an online service for requesting taxis. Later they expanded their services to include shipping, which is now known as Uber Connect. If you have used Uber before to request a taxi, then you’ll find it just as simple to use Uber connect for deliveries. Uber Connect can only transport items using motorbikes, so it is not suitable for sending large items. In contrast, PickMe Flash offers a range of transportation options, including tuk-tuks, cars and trucks, which makes it more suitable for shipping larger items. On the other hand, Uber Connect is better than PickMe Flash when it comes to providing proof of delivery. When you use the Uber Connect app, it will generate a four-digit PIN that the recipient can use to confirm that the delivery has been completed. If you need to ship small and lightweight items like documents, I suggest using Uber Connect.

Pronto Lanka

Pronto Lanka (PVT) Ltd does not have a smartphone app for tracking your packages while they are in transit, unlike PickMe Flash and Uber Connect. They do have tracking available on their website, but it is not in real-time. Another disadvantage of using Pronto Lanka is that they do not assume responsibility if an item is lost during transit. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your valuable items are insured before giving them to the courier service for shipment. However, Pronto Lanka stands out from PickMe Flash and Uber Connect in terms of cost-effectiveness. While PickMe Flash and Uber Connect are cheaper options for shipping items over short distances, they become more expensive for longer distances because they don’t have island-wide operations. On the other hand, Pronto Lanka may be a more cost-effective option for longer-distance deliveries. The cost of shipping is calculated based on two factors: the weight of the items being shipped and the distance between the starting point and the destination.

Wrap Up

Back in the 80s and 90s, shipping packages in Sri Lanka were limited to the postal service, Night Mail Train, or relying on friends or family members travelling to Colombo. Today, there are many more options available, including private courier services such as PickMe Flash, Uber Connect, and Pronto Lanka (That is Just to name a few.) Each service has its strengths and weaknesses, and depending on what you need to ship, you may find one more suitable than the others. When choosing a shipping service, consider the size and weight of your items, the distance they need to travel, and whether or not real-time tracking or insurance is important to you. With the many options available today, it’s easier than ever to ship packages both locally and internationally, making it a convenient and reliable way to send and receive goods.

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