Shiply describes itself as “an online marketplace for transporting goods”. Users list the items they need to move, plus the final destinations, receive “bids” from various transport companies and take their pick. It’s rather like eBay for couriers and delivery firms.
Shiply saves money: as anyone who books couriers knows, it can be expensive to have your gear transported even a short distance. Shiply prices often come in cheaper, because you piggyback. You are matched up with delivery drivers who have spare capacity and who are already making similar trips across the UK and Europe. The delivery companies bid for your work “along routes they already have planned”. According to the Shiply website, you can save up to 75 per cent by using this service.
It is also an eco-friendly solution: the journey had already been planned by your handpicked transport company, and you are using up spare capacity within the delivery vehicle. So the number of required journey is reduced, as are the carbon emissions. Pat yourself on the back.
It’s great for eBayers: this is what really jumped out at me about the service. You know when you see those AMAZING furniture bargains on eBay – art deco cabinets, 1950s chests of drawers or whatever floats your boat – but they are listed as local collection only and the seller lives several counties away? Well, here’s a possible solution…
Apparently there are more than 345,000 registered users of the Shiply site, more than 27,500 registered transport companies and a new quote request is made every 23 seconds. So if you do decide to give it a whirl, you’re in good company.
If you are feeling super-savvy, there is another company offering a similar service, which may also be worth checking out. uShip has a global reach, which includes the UK and EU, and more than 200,000 service providers.