Delivery Services

Peer-to-Peer shipping locally

peership logoRecently someone who works at PeerShip reached out to me to ask if I would feature them on ShareTraveler. I checked out their site, thinking it was another crowdsourced shipping tool (something I frequently write about and am always excited to learn about new innovators in this area). Instead I found that PeerShip offers peer-to-peer delivery locally, and mostly in San Diego at this point. Think Lyft/Uber for deliveries. San Diego is a great place to visit (and I have lots of relatives there), but I think of this sort of delivery service as mostly for locals. I figure travelers are out seeing the city, not sitting around in their home exchange/hotel/hostel waiting for someone to bring them stuff. I wrote back to Bob, the guy at PeerShip, and explained that I didn’t think their business fit with my focus on ShareTraveler: sharing economy tools that help travelers.

Bob responded with a true story that I convinced me I was wrong, or at least that it was worth writing about PeerShip in case my readers find the service useful.

A couple of months ago I traveled from another city (and country) to San Diego to meet the founder of our company (we initially met online). While being in San Diego, I had a beautiful place close to the sea where I was staying, lots of shops and services around me (in La Jolla area, which is really amazing). Nonetheless, I had no car and moving around, getting basic stuff like groceries, bananas, toothpaste, food etc was limited to:

a) walking-distance shops & services
b) me taking Uber/Lyft
c) having a local friend with a car bring me stuff or take me where I wanted to go

So, I used our own app (PeerShip) to get several little things delivered. I remember ordering:
– Milk x2 times
– Bug Spray
– Toothpaste
– Toilette paper x3 times
– A 6-pack of bottled water
– Breakfast

Several local PeerShip drivers-couriers (we don’t have a fleet but rather allow any user to become a driver and make money on his way), delivered those items for me when I needed.I paid a few extra bucks (much less than taking Lyft/Uber back & forth), plus I saved valuable time (that I used to do other things like enjoying the city), met a few new people (and in some cases they even suggested me taking 1 product over the other, because as locals they knew better 😉 )

The biggest take away for me here is that a tool like PeerShip can make it possible for travelers to avoid renting cars but still take advantage of lodging that isn’t right in the center of town. This is always a trade off I consider when making home exchange plans: how easy will it be to get to my lodging, and will I need to spend money on a rental car.
Of course there are other delivery services out there that aren’t peer-to-peer. But then there are other taxi services out there besides Lyft and Uber. These services offer competition that often drives down prices and also innovation (such as on-demand taxi apps). And as Bob mentioned in his story, also sometimes you get better information from the locals working for these peer-to-peer services. I certainly had that experience with Uber in Colombia.
So if this is useful to you, PeerShip is currently available in San Diego, Houston and Los Angeles and they’re expanding to other cities soon.

1 Comment

  • Thanks for the article and it is great to see many applications to the peer to peer industry. There are endless ways we can all help each other. Cheers!