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Ride-sharing for package transport

Work & Lifestyle

We’ve already written about several ride-sharing sites that help match up people in need of a ride with drivers heading in the same direction. Now French site Colis-Voiturage is bringing a similar service to the local transport of packages. Individuals who need to send packages across drivable distances typically must make the trip themselves or pay expensive shipping charges. In the hopes of creating a more economical and eco-friendly solution, Colis-Voiturage aims to bring together those with a package to send and drivers who are already planning a trip to a similar destination. Members of the site register with their name, address, birthdate and contact information, and indicate whether they have a package to send or whether they’re planning to drive to a particular destination—or both. Those with packages to send provide details of their shipment and search for those planning trips in the same direction; if there isn’t one at the moment, they’ll be sent an e-mail when one is added. Once a match is found, the parties arrange the details and financial contribution independently. Using the site is free for package senders. Drivers get a year free if they sign up before Oct. 2; thereafter, subscriptions cost EUR 5 per year. Among the benefits Colis-Voiturage cites are saved gas, reduced costs and a minimized carbon footprint. The company currently operates only within France. In many ways, Colis-Voiturage’s service is similar to that offered by uShip—which we covered last year and which works mainly with professional shippers—but on a smaller and more personal scale. Given the greater need for personal trust at this level, logical enhancements to the site would be to beef up user profiles and add social networking features like member reviews and reputation statistics. With concern over gas prices and global warming increasing every day, however, there’s no doubt the idea is good. One to roll out in the rest of the world? Spotted by: Déborah Bianchetto



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