A new company based out of Tampa plans to revolutionize the way packages are delivered by turning regular commuters into couriers.
, the company is the brainchild of Chuck Pasquotto, an entrepreneur who runs several transportation-related companies. Seeing the success of companies like Uber and Air BnB, Pasquotto wanted to use the power of crowd sourcing to help streamline the package delivery process. The idea is to find someone who is traveling daily to a destination and ask them to deliver someone else’s package. The network is connected through a mobile app.
"Think of us as a marketplace," says Eric Torres, USF graduate and VP of Marketing for HITCH. "We’re giving the crowd an opportunity to earn extra money via the shared economy."
Those who want to deliver packages (called travelers) sign up on the site and provide their origin and destination information. They can then see a list of deliveries on their intended route. Travelers receive a payment upon successful package delivery.
A shipper enters information about the item needing to be delivered, along with a picture and description. They can then see the fee and accept or decline the delivery. The pick-up location is determined by the shipper and can be a home, office or other public place. Once the transaction is complete, the shipper can request a signature. The traveler is also required to take a picture of where the item was delivered, and it can also be tracked with a gps.
The benefits are lower costs than a typical courier service, environmental benefits and an opportunity for the travelers to earn extra money.
The community is monitored, and users get ratings based on their reliability and effectiveness. For example, users can request to work with only five star rated travelers or shippers. Users also have to become verified by providing a bank account or credit card information.
HITCH recently partnered with Tampa-based creative agency PP+K
to help launch the app. The app is currently in beta mode and aims for a soft launch in October in the I-4 corridor area. The company plans to expand nationwide after the launch.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Eric Torres, HITCH