The sharing economy continues to revolutionize passenger travel, enabling consumers to source low cost rides within their community, as well as lifts home from school for kids and safe transport for the elderly, all with added convenience and a personal touch. Now, Atlanta start-up Roadie is shaking up the shipping industry with its peer-to-peer shipping network, which matches customers’ cargo to drivers with empty car seats heading in the right direction.
The platform, currently in beta, plans to tap into the massive network of passenger vehicles traveling the country at any given time with unused backseats and trunk space. Customers with goods to send begin by downloading the smartphone app. Once installed, they can then proceed to list their needs, including the details of the items and when and where they need to send it. The app determines a price and posts it to the Roadie community. ‘Roadies’ — casual couriers who have signed up to the network — browse potential ‘gigs’ and sign up to any that fit with their travel plans.
The prices can remain low because Roadies are driving that way anyway, so senders receive a cheaper service, while Roadies can monetize their journeys — whether that be their commute or a road trip to California. The service is green because it keeps extra delivery trucks off the road and Roadies will often be available at short notice or over weekends, when traditional services are either not offered or have higher fees.
Roadie offers RoadieAssist support to its users in emergencies and insures packages up to USD 500. Items can currently be sent from anywhere in the southeast of the US and delivered anywhere in the country. The platform will soon offer discounts from Roadhouse partners to enable extra savings for members while on the road, from food to petrol and lodgings. Are there other businesses that could benefit from associating themselves with this scheme?