Oct 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

Roadie taps crowd-sourced same-day delivery for holiday purchases

Illustration of suitcase with discount stickers on it

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Roadie, an Atlanta-based company that got its start using gig drivers to deliver lost baggage for Delta Air Lines, now figures to play a big role in delivering holiday purchases this year.

Why it matters: Demand for same-day shipping exploded during the pandemic, and is likely to increase even more during the holidays. Traditional parcel carriers have strained to keep up, often slapping surcharges on deliveries, leaving a lane for Roadie to help manage peak demand.

How it works: Roadie recruits drivers already on the road to transport goods en route to their destinations.

  • Using an app, Roadie drivers can check for available delivery gigs before they head home from work, for example.
  • A description of the item, the dimensions, address and delivery price are all presented ahead of time so the driver knows where they would need to go and how much they'd get paid.
  • The driver takes photographs of the item at both pickup and delivery to ensure there's no damage.
  • Retailers including Walmart, Tractor Supply and Home Depot (a Roadie investor) have tapped Roadie drivers to handle booming demand for fast deliveries.

By the numbers: Founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Marc Gorlin, Roadie has raised $62 million to date.

  • The company claims more than 50,000 customers and a network of more than 150,000 verified delivery drivers across the U.S.
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