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Instacart gets grocery delivery help from Postmates at busy times

If you're in San Francisco, you're more likely to get food on time.

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What do you do if your internet-based grocery delivery service is straining to keep up with demand at its busiest periods? Why, ask another delivery service for help, of course. Instacart is launching a pilot program in San Francisco that will have Postmates deliver some groceries at peak hours (late morning and early afternoon) to keep up with demand. If you ask Instacart's Michelle McRae, it's a perfect match -- Postmates is normally quieter at those times, so it gets additional business while helping Instacart cope with a heavy workload.

There aren't immediate plans to expand the pilot beyond San Francisco, but Instacart told TechCrunch that it's "considering" bringing the program to other regions, including other delivery services. This won't affect existing shoppers and delivery drivers.

Postmates sees this as a logical extension of a recent strategy that includes expanding Walmart's grocery deliveries. While this won't overshadow its core delivery business, it hopes to fill in the gaps for other companies that can't always hire more couriers. In other words, you could eventually see Postmates at your door on behalf of many companies, not just a handful of partners.

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