Crowdshipping uses everyday travellers to transport crossborder
Updated: Jan 10
What does crowdshipping solve and what is yet to be solved?
Crowdshipping is a way of delivering goods by using private travellers. Different companies from large to small have tried out some version of the scheme. But is crowdshipping really an option?
According to David Vuylsteke from PiggyBee it is. ‘People are able to get things that they can’t find online or locally. They can ship things to remote locations that are less profitable for or more expensive with a regular courier,’ he explains.
The process has to sides. One is the traveller who will do the delivery and the other is the person ordering. Travellers advertise their service on a platform like Piggybee and share what locations they will visit, whether it is a one-way trip or a return as well as how often they make the journey. Depending how popular the route is they will receive a list of request. The traveller can then contact or be contacted by some of the customers so they can arrange a delivery. If there is no request (in the event of a less-travelled itinerary), the trip remains online so that future users will be able to contact them.
The conversation is carried on onto the secure mailbox of PiggyBee where both parties agree on the terms of the delivery. They discuss the potential price of the item, the amount of the tip and practical details for the delivery. The requester locks in the negotiated amount through the payment module. This allows the traveller to pay for the item in case that is needed. The requester declares the item value so it can be insured. Then the platform provides a crowdshipping transport contract. At the end, when the delivery is executed, the traveller confirms it on the platform and the final payment is made.
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David Vuylsteke is the founder of PiggyBee. He says he is a sharing economy enthusiast who has always had an eye for business. The idea of creating PiggyBee was born after a trip when he had to return an item back but had no way of transporting it. With the abundance of travellers and people who need items Vuylsteke believes his started, based in Brussels, has a lot to offer.