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Tech: New delivery service that pays frequent fliers to carry parcels

A new peer-to-peer delivery service hopes to change the way packages are delivered by paying frequent fliers to deliver items en route

Are you going out of town, and little light on the luggage? Now, you can turn the unused baggage capacity into some extra cash. BeckFriends.com is a new peer-to-peer delivery service that pays you to carry parcels during a journey.

(L-R) Mayukh Basu, Rahul Basu, Deep Malhotra and Shikha Pandey
(L-R) Mayukh Basu, Rahul Basu, Deep Malhotra and Shikha Pandey

All you have to do is log on to www.beckfriends.com, sign-up on the service, validate your identity, and share your travel schedule and weight carrying capacity. The moment a parcel becomes available on your route, you will be notified instantly. BeckFriends.com is currently available across the world, and can be used by anyone. “We, however, need links to their social profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn, and a valid document to authenticate their identify. It could be a driver’s license, passport, or an Aadhaar card,” says Deep Malhotra, who co-founded the company with Shikha Pandey and two BITS Pilani engineers, Rahul Basu and Mayukh Basu.

Malhotra informs that there’s no specific size limit to parcels, but they are categorised on the basis of whether they can be put on a bag, box, car, and truck or a van. The platform uses an algorithm to calculate the cost of a delivery, depending on the urgency, weight and size of the parcel. “Our prices, however are at least 30% less than traditional courier services,” he informs.

On the flip side
The idea sounds great, but there is a large grey area in its execution. Is couple of hundreds worth the risk that the platform may bring? There’s no guarantee that a product will be delivered in time or won’t be damaged during transit? The biggest issue, however, is that there’s no system in place to protect the person delivering a parcel, if they fall into trouble, say, a parcel contains an illegal item and held by the customs. If you are travelling abroad, the last thing you want to undergo is being arrested for carrying an illegal item, and being listed as a smuggler. Though Malhotra informs that they are working on a solution, as per the current terms, it’s a users responsibility.

Malhotra assures that it might only be one in a million kind of situation. The service is currently available only as a website, and will soon be integrated into a single app, which will allow users to hire either Beck Instant Delivery, a local intra-city delivery service launched in December last year, the above mentioned BeckFriends, or established courier companies in their locality.

Log on to: Beckfriends.com

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