If your travel plans take you on out on the open road and you happen to be able to spare a little space in your trunk or back seat, this new app wants to help you offset the cost of your vacation.
Roadie connects package shippers with travelers driving their way. It works like this: download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and register with basic details including your vehicle type, address, driver’s license and bank account. After a quick background check and easy-to-follow tutorial you are ready to start searching for and bidding on gigs. Photos, real-time tracking and signatures assure proof that packages get to where they are going, and drivers are paid via direct deposit within a few days. (You can send packages in a similar way once you are registered as a shipper.)#
Pricing is determined by distance, urgency and size, with most local gigs costing between $8 and $60 and long-distance or cross-country trips with oversized items topping out at $650. Packages are automatically protected with $500; Roadie partners with UPS Capital® for the option of purchasing additional coverage up to $10,000. Currently, the app has more than 80,000 verified drivers covering all 50 states and offers delivers in more than 11,000 cities and towns. (That’s actually a larger footprint than the Amazon Prime network.)
And there is actually another ingenious way this app is helping travelers. “Not only are we helping airlines like Delta reunite customers with their bags faster, often in two hours compared to ten hours, we’re making sure that when you forget your kid’s teddy bear, it’s delivered and riding shotgun before you take off for whatever comes next,” points out founder and CEO Marc Gorlin. He cites the story of a child’s suitcase filled with beach gear and favorite toys being mistakenly put on a bus to the Magic Kingdom after a flight from New York to Orlando. Delta’s Baggage Service Office notified the family that Roadie would deliver the bag; within minutes it was trackable and within two hours it arrived at their hotel – giving them ample time to soak up some afternoon beach time.