PiggyBee reaches 5000 users

Crowdshipping specialist PiggyBee’s CEO David Vuylsteke told the World Mail and Express Europe conference about his company’s foray into the social economy of deliveries. PiggyBee now has 5000 members.

The concept is that people who want items to be shipped between two locations are matched up with travellers who are making that journey anyway for their own reasons. This is not unlike Nimber or Roadie, but many of the travellers are using commercial airline flights for their own international journeys rather than making road trips in cars.

Some of the latest requests made of PiggyBee travellers have included carrying food items from Italy to Jacksonville, Florida, as well as transporting earrings from Austin, TX to Dhaka in Bangladesh.

The company’s international trips tend to capture the media’s imagination, though PIggyBee says that the deliveries can be “(almost) anything from (or to) anywhere across any distance (International, domestic or local)”.

Currently, PiggyBee is free to all who use it. Using the site incurs no charge. The company’s website says, “Various revenue models are considered but our # 1 priority is to grow our community to ensure a maximum of deliveries.”

With regarded to rewarding the traveler, PiggyBee has this message for delivery requesters: “To thank the traveler for delivery, add a tip and/or a reward that you could offer in return (such as a pick-up from the airport or train station, an invitation for a drink, a sightseeing tour, …or whatever you may want to offer.)”

The social economy is a relatively new but growing sector and while PiggyBee isn’t problematic for the likes of DHL or FedEx as of now, such systems utilising existing passengers / travellers’ routings will become something of note in the coming years, in much the same way as Airbnb is threatening lower end hotels and Uber, taxi companies.