If you have ever asked someone to pick up a package for you on the way home, then you immediately grasp the concept behind Roadie app-based shipping. The community has been helping people get their stuff — or send their stuff — since 2015. Based on neighbors helping neighbors, it is not surprising that it first took root in the Southeast. But now it is available across the country, enabling you to get a futon from your home to your kid in college or a rare water pump from the NOS parts store that had it on a back shelf to your garage across the state.
The concept came to founder Marc Gorlin one day when he needed a couple boxes of custom tile from a warehouse a few hours away to finish a bathroom renovation.
Stalled remodeling project prompted Roadie app
“When my remodeling project stalled out because my tile showed up from the manufacturer broken to bits, I needed a couple boxes of tile from a warehouse a few hours away,” he told Driving Today. “I had no practical way of getting them the same day other than driving the five hour round trip to pick them up myself. I knew there had to be someone already making the trip who’d be willing to throw some tile in their trunk for $20, if only I knew who they were.”
He didn’t have a way to learn who was making the trip then, but after Roadie came online finding that lonesome traveller who might want to earn a few bucks for a short side trip became possible. Speed and convenience are two selling points for Roadie users. The service delivers what people need right to their door often on the same day even on weekends. Pricing is determined by size, distance and how urgently the load needs to be delivered. Most local “Gigs” will cost between $8 and $50, and long distance Gigs with oversized items can cost up to $650. It’s even more for the delivery of pets but then they need special TLC.
You can track your stuff via smartphone
Since most of us like to know where our stuff is you’ll be pleased to learn both the sender and receiver can track deliveries in real-time via their smartphones. Lest you fear that a light-fingered Roadie drive might motor off with your stuff, goods are automatically protected up to $500 and you get the option to purchase additional coverage up to $10,000. If you’re not sending the Hope diamond, you’ll probably be okay
So who are these Roadie drivers and why do they do it?
“The answer is simple,” according to Gorlin, “Roadie drivers can be from urban areas like New York and LA, to rural areas from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest. What they all have in common is the desire to make extra cash or offset travel expenses in a fun, easy way that also gives them the chance to meet new people and connect with a large community.”
Gorlin says the diversity of the Roadie drivers is an important way the app differs from other crowdsourced platforms. Some of the drivers also drive for Lyft and/or Uber. Others are local commuters who don’t want passengers in the cars but don’t mind getting paid to run nearby errands. Then there are the “regional roadtrippers” like traveling salesmen and college students who take on medium-distance missions. And finally there are the “long haulers” who are professional truck drivers, on-the-road retirees and seasonal vacationers.
Aside from being a great way to earn extra cash on trips they’re already taking,” Gorlin said, “they receive discounts and special savings, including free roadside assistance, gas discounts and tax write‐offs.”
Thinking of picking up a Gig? The Roadie app is available for download in the iTunes Store and on Google Play. More info about the world’s first neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network is available at www.roadie.com.