Cargo Adds Cash-Free “Minibars” to Rideshare Vehicles

Just a couple of weeks ago, I shared how Uber was finally adding a tipping feature that would surely enable drivers to earn more. Well, this week brought news of a separate company that’s also looking to increase your side hustle earning potential in a really clever way. As Mashable reports, the startup Cargo (not to be confused with UberCARGO) allows rideshare drivers to sell candy, sundries, and even USB chargers to passengers right from their car.

If you’re already familiar with Cargo, you must live in one of the few states that the startup — which was founded in 2016 — tested in. Now the company is rolling out nationwide to bring their minibar-for-your-Uber service to the masses.

While many of the items are for sale, Cargo makes some items available to riders for free. This is thanks to partnerships the company has with various brands, both large and small. As a result, drivers have a way to treat their riders, passengers get free goods, manufacturers get some unique exposure, and everyone’s happy! 

So how does this all work? First, driver’s apply on Cargo’s site. However, Mashable notes that the company is currently giving priority to those who sign up with their Uber profiles. Of course, if you drive for Lyft or other services in addition to Uber, you’re welcome to offer the Cargo service to all of your passengers.

Once approved, drivers will have their Cargo unit (which is typically placed atop your car’s center console) and an initial supply of goods shipped directly to them. Since Uber and Lyft are both cashless experiences, Cargo follows suit by allowing passengers to pay for their purchases via a mobile website and code number to identity the vehicle they’re in. Drivers then get a text informing them of each completed purchase. Additionally, Cargo keeps track of drivers’ inventories and automatically ships them what they’ll need to replenish.

It should be noted that Cargo is free to drivers. As Cargo’s CEO Jeff Cripe explains, “For drivers, it’s an easy decision: Cargo costs nothing, we pre-pack each Cargo kit, ship replenishments to your home, deposit money directly into your bank account, and improve your ratings.” Better yet, drivers do earn commissions on items sold in their vehicles. Currently the company says the average driver nets about $100 a month, with some top earners bringing in $300 a month (obviously results will vary based on a vast number of factors).

Overall, Cargo really does sound like a win for everyone involved. Not only does it provide a service to both drivers and passengers but also does so in a nonintrusive and arguably elegant way. So, if you’re a rideshare driver looking to improve your passengers’ experience and perhaps make a little extra, trying out this service for your Car may be the way to Go 😉


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

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