Put various other People’s Junk within the Trunk: Roadie Pays Drivers to Take a Package Along for the Ride

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 - autos, Featured, Lyft, mobile, mobile apps, roadie, shared economy, Uber, UPS

Put various other People’s Junk within the Trunk: Roadie Pays Drivers to Take a Package Along for the Ride



Roadie can be a newish mobile app which, at first blush, appears to want to be the Uber of the shipping sector. With the app, you can post a “gig,” which amounts to paying to have an item sent across town or cross-country in a random person’s car or truck. Or you can take on a gig along with get paid to transport an object for a stranger within the unused cargo area of your car or truck. To test out Roadie, I decided to try to send a bottle of homemade hot sauce to a friend in brand new Orleans. I posted the gig along with waited.

A Billion Cubic Feet of Unused Space

Roadie launched in 2015 when founder Marc Gorlin of Atlanta needed to get some boxes of custom tile by a warehouse a few hours away to finish a bathroom renovation. When he realized there might be no possible way to get the tiles the same day through traditional shipping methods (not to mention the cost of same-day shipping), he had a eureka moment by which the concept for Roadie was born.

This specific kind of impromptu need can be where Roadie hopes the idea can fill a niche. By its own estimates, vehicles traversing U.S. roads have about 1 billion cubic feet of unused cargo space. Company spokeswoman Jamie Gottlieb said the figure can be based on the 252,700,000 light vehicles on U.S. roads in 2014 along with figuring 15 to 70 cubic feet of cargo space in each car or truck.

Roadie aims to fill which space with items as tiny as a shoe box or as large as a couch. Gottlieb said using the app can save money on shipping clumsier items such as furniture or car parts across the country, along with some tiny businesses, such as florists, can (along with already do) use the idea to send smaller items around town the same day.

If you post a gig, the app calculates your cost based on distance, urgency, along with size. Your delivery can be tracked on the mobile app, along with the goods you’re sending are automatically insured up to $500, with the option to buy additional coverage up to $10,000.

How Does the idea Stack Up Pricewise?

I got some estimates for non-urgent shipments of items by the Detroit area to brand new Orleans, about a 1050-mile trip. Roadie quoted me at $274 for a “huge” item (such as a sofa), $249 for an “X-large” item (such as a bicycle) along with $234 for a “large item” (such as a television). Pets could be sent by preapproved drivers for $299.

The same kind of casual solicitation for a 0-pound shipment—a conservative estimated weight for a piece of furniture—was quoted by UPS at $372 along with by FedEx starting at $588. However, for a 50-pound, medium-size package, both UPS along with FedEx gave me a quick quote for about $50 for ground shipping, while express along with next-day shipping, as expected, were both significantly more expensive.

roadie gig 2

So Roadie does appear to be cheaper, especially for bigger items, along with you don’t have to worry about packing the item. In fact, Gottlieb said the company insists which items are left at least partly unpacked as part of an “open-box policy,” in order which drivers are not unwittingly ferrying illicit items across the country through the mobile app.

Roadie’s unique nature gives the idea the air of a disruptor, nevertheless the company does not see itself as upending shipping companies such as UPS or FedEx. In fact, UPS can be an investor in Roadie, along with Roadie gets its shipping insurance through UPS Capital.

Not-So-Big Payday

How much does one get paid to transport something? When I looked at the app, there was an offer to take two chairs by Merrillville, Indiana, to Miami—a 1360-mile trip—for $267. If your car gets an average of 25 mpg, for example, you’d need 54.4 gallons of gas to get there. Estimating fuel prices at $2.50 a gallon, the trip might cost about $136. So when factoring in gas costs, the job might pay a net of $131.

nevertheless apparently which’s not the way Roadie can be supposed to be used. The idea can be for someone already going by Merrillville to Miami to use extra space in their vehicle to take these two chairs along with get $267 for the idea. Although Roadie looks to fill needs which can be immediate or impulsive, within the same way people use Uber or Lyft, the idea actually can be not intended to function within the same way in terms of employing smartphone-based contractors.

Roadie drivers are subject to a rating system, similar to mobile-app-based chauffeurs. nevertheless where ride-sharing apps act as a secondary or even primary source of income for drivers, Roadie driving can be not intended to be a full-time gig, according to Gottlieb. “Roadie’s a little different—we’re on the way instead of on demand,” she said. In various other words, anyone planning on quitting a day job in favor of becoming a full-time Roadie driver might be in for a sporadic along with unreliable source of income.

roadie gig 1

My 1050-mile Gig Promises a $40 Payout

Meanwhile, speaking with Gottlieb helped me see how flawed my approach to This specific whole thing was. My hot-sauce gig was posted along with might cost me $51 while promising to pay the Roadie driver $40, as the company takes about a 20 percent cut.

Who on earth might want to drive a bottle of hot sauce for some stranger, who demands which the idea be kept refrigerated or at least on ice, more than 1000 miles to brand new Orleans for a mere $40? the idea became clear to me which shipping tiny items long distances can be not what This specific startup app can be geared for. Not yet, anyway.

nevertheless even if my initial approach to Roadie was a bit backward, posting the gig made the idea clear there can be still another hurdle the company needs to overcome, at least within the upper Midwest: There are very few gigs. At press time, my hot-sauce post was the only solicitation for a courier within the state of Michigan. Zooming out geographically, at least eight states within the middle of the country appeared to offer no gigs.

Gottlieb said Roadie has had tens of thousands of gigs posted to the community since its launch along with has been downloaded some 300,000 times. Its legitimacy was underwritten financially by $15 million in Series B venture funding last June. nevertheless the idea’s still working to get the word out which the idea exists. the idea has enlisted rapper Ludacris for promotion along with has embarked on partnerships with companies including Waffle House along with Goodwill.

Media coverage certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Speaking of, if anyone can be headed by the Detroit area to brand new Orleans, you’re welcome to take a bottle of hot sauce along for the ride. Roadie will pay you $40, along with I’ll pay them $51.

Put various other People’s Junk within the Trunk: Roadie Pays Drivers to Take a Package Along for the Ride

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