When you look at how the gig economy has changed our country, some of the businesses that have been disrupted are obvious. Uber took on the taxi industry. Airbnb took on hotels. But what about long distance shipping? Could the gig economy really take that on?
Roadie says yes. The company has looked to innovate the supply chain by offering regular drivers going on road trips the chance to make extra money by bringing a delivery item with them. They also now offer local gigs as well.
In this article, we’ll explain Roadie’s origins, its powerful backers (including Ludacris), and how it works. We’ll look at some reviews from people who drive for Roadie, and answer some frequently asked questions for people who might want to start working for Roadie as a side hustle.
What Is Roadie?
Roadie might be one of the fastest growing startups you’ve never heard of. The company is a platform where people can request shipping for oddly shaped, fragile, or oversized items, and then drivers can accept those jobs and complete them, using a passenger vehicle to get it done.
The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and its CEO is Marc Gorlin. The company has some serious backers too, including UPS Capital, Google exec Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures, investor Warren Stephens, and yes, Ludacris. Home Depot has gotten involved in the latest round of fundraising, and Walmart has teamed up with Roadie to provide grocery delivery service.
Roadie only offers one-way delivery and is meant to connect with drivers who are already making a trip. For people who regularly make road trips, either for work or to see family, the app can be a great way to offset the cost of the drive and even make some money in the process.
Unlike other apps, the majority of the price to ship goes to the driver, making it a potentially lucrative way to take on a side hustle. Roadie says drivers can earn up to $650 for long-distance trips, and up to $60 for local trips, depending on the size of the item.
Why Ship With Roadie?
For people who ship with Roadie, the shipping experience gets a lot more personal. Instead of dropping a box off and hoping it gets there on the back of a truck, shippers can meet their delivery person and follow along on the app as the item makes its way to its destination. This can give shippers peace of mind knowing their items are in good hands.
While it may be tough to get overnight delivery — trips are booked when they’re convenient for a driver — if a shipper has some time, it can be a flexible way to save money on delivery.
How to Sign Up for Roadie
Roadie is always looking for people with clean driving records to take on delivery jobs. Roadie drivers can build jobs around road trips they’re already planning on taking, or monitor the mobile app to get alerted to local jobs and earn money that way.
To sign up as a driver, you’ll need to either download the Roadie app or head to their website at www.roadie.com. At the top of the site, you’ll see a menu where one of the tabs is labeled “Drivers.”
It looks like this:
Click on Drivers, and you’ll be taken to an informative page that lets you know everything you need to get started with Roadie. If you like what you see, you can fill out the initial driver sign-up sheet at the top of the page. It just asks for your name, email address, and phone number to get started.
On the next page, you can verify your information and create a password, or you can link to your Facebook page and create an account that way. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to verify your phone number, which you can do via a code sent to your cell phone. Enter that, and you’re ready to make your profile.
The profile creation asks that you provide some personal information, this is done for two reasons:
- So that Roadie can pay you
- So you can undergo a third-party background check and a DMV check
These checks are non-negotiable and serve to protect you and the people who ship things with Roadie.
Unlike Uber and other rideshare services, Roadie has no minimum vehicle requirement, however, so whatever you drive is all good with them.
Taking a Job
Once you’ve created your profile and passed the background checks (this can take a few weeks to process, so be patient), you can start accepting jobs.
People with accounts can choose whether they want alerts to some jobs in their area, all the jobs in their area, local jobs, road trips, or no alerts at all. Roadie will then either keep you posted on shipping jobs near you or let you check the app to see what’s being offered at any time.
The jobs tell you ahead of time what they will pay, what you will be carrying, and when it needs to be done by.
If you’re nervous about carrying something illicit without your knowledge, have no fear. Roadie has an “open box” policy, meaning you will never be asked to transport something without knowing what it is.
If you want the job, claim it. The shipper then has the ability to review your profile and your rating in the app, then connect to make it official. You’ve got your task.
Time to Hit the Road
It’s up to you and the shipper to organize a pickup date and time, and make this delivery happen. You will provide confirmation photos and text updates as the trip progresses, giving them assurance that everything is going well, especially on long haul deliveries.
Get to your destination, drop the item off, and you’ve done it.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve looked at Roadie’s origins, how to sign up to drive for the company, and how to accept jobs. Let’s get to some frequently asked questions.
1. Does Roadie pay for gas?
Nope, Roadie does not pay for gas. The idea behind the app is that you’re signing up on trips you were already planning to take, so gas, food, tolls, etc. are all on you. This is just a way to make some extra money on the trip.
2. Can I write off gas and mileage when I’m driving for Roadie?
That you can do! As you are working on the trip, you can say that gas and mileage were part of a business expense when you file taxes at the end of the year. If you were already planning on taking a road trip for personal reasons, Roadie can not only allow you to make some money doing it, it can save you on taxes in the process.
3. Do I need to have my own insurance?
Yes, drivers need to be fully insured while driving for Roadie, and you need to provide your own insurance. Roadie does provide insurance for items that may be damaged during the delivery process, but you need to have your own car insurance to drive for the company.
4. Can I make as much as with Uber or Lyft?
Probably not. The mark against Roadie is that there just isn’t enough demand out there for Roadie drivers to make it work as a full-time job. While some people hustle daily with the app for local deliveries, most drivers use it as a way to pick up some extra money on trips they’re doing anyway.
If you live in LA and travel to Las Vegas once a month to see family, Roadie can help you offset the cost of that trip by connecting you with someone who needs something shipped to Las Vegas. As a serious side hustle, you may not be able to earn as much as you would as a rideshare driver.
Roadie is an innovative way to try to make shipping easier. It aims to connect drivers heading somewhere with shippers looking to get something delivered to that same place. It offers competitive pricing for shippers and good rates for drivers.
Whether used as a way to help with the cost of road trips or a side hustle to earn extra money through local deliveries, Roadie is definitely worth a look for anyone trying to find a side job who loves being on the open road.