You’d be no stranger to the Uber affair in Hong Kong lately. Whatever your stance in this issue, this article is not about passenger-carrying Uber or Lyft or the likes, but the cargo version of Uber, more like.
Meet Roadie, an app that claims to be the first neighbour-to-neighbour shipping network, created by a man called Marc Gorlin, who thinks that the cargo space of your car can be put to better use by helping to deliver something that needs to go in the same direction that you’re going. The way Roadie works is simple: you take a photo of the item that you want delivered (as long as it fits into a car or truck), put in details about the location of the item, and Roadie will provide registered users who are going to that direction and willing to help out. By delivering the item, the Roadie (registered user who does the delivery) gets paid a fee which can be used to cover the cost of gas for the trip, even though he/she is going to that direction anyway.
There’s also an eco-friendly side to Roadie too, as now that it is delivered in a car, it doesn’t really need packaging. “We say your cargo can ride commando,” said Gorlin. “It actually can – it’s not going to have to bounce through four trucks and an airplane to get there. It’s going to sit in a blanket safely in my backseat. You’re reducing packaging materials by at least 80%.”