Airmule is a social shipping company that publicly launched in mid-2016. They’ve just unveiled the 2.0 version of their website and app.
Inspired by the latest product updates, I decided to list an upcoming trip on the website. I was immediately frustrated by the level of detail required for my flights. My first thought was: it’s none of Airmule’s business what route and carrier I’m flying, where I’m stopping on the way, and what time I arrive. But Airmule won’t let you create a listing without including all the flight details. Then I realized this is because this company’s business model is a bit different from other crowdsource delivery sites.
Airmule is actually paying you to take suitcases full of stuff, which they’ve put together for you. You’re not connecting directly with other users who want you to just bring one thing. So I can see why they really do want to be able to track where these suitcases are going. “Airmule meets you at the airport with the luggage and shipments inside. Travelers also have the option of coming by our operation to pick it up on the way to the airport. This will give you the ability to inspect all the items yourself.”
I believe Airmule is still focused on the LA to China route because elsewhere in the Airmule website help material it talks about their operation being in LA. And they are still selling flights to couriers from LAX to Beijing and Shanghai for $350. (They’ve been offering this deal on flights for a few months now.)
I ran into a technical problem listing my trip: the site doesn’t allow more than one connection. So I was immediately foiled in my attempt to list a trip which has two stops along the way to my destination. I ended up listing a different trip, one that I’m taking in just a few days, to test out the system. Perhaps they will have a last minute need that matches my travels, but I’m not optimistic since it’s not LAX to China.
I can see why Airmule would want all the detailed flight information once they lock in a delivery for you, but if I don’t anticipate my route having any traction I’m unlikely to be inspired to do all this work to list a trip. I think Airmule would be better off letting users just list their trip origin and destination with travel dates. If there’s have a match for a delivery, then Airmule can request the travel details before confirming the shipping deal.
Airmule is currently running a promotion that might make signing up attractive for new members: “Create an account today for an opportunity to earn up to $600 during your next flight.” Since I already have an account I’m not eligible and I can’t find the terms to review, but I assume this means you could win after you take on a delivery via Airmule.
If you have a trip coming up to China and want to earn some extra money, Airmule is a good option to consider.
See also PiggyBee (https://www.piggybee.com/), crowdsourced delivery pioneer since 2012.