GREENWICH, Conn. — A Connecticut family needed a last-minute birthday gift from a local merchant. A Westchester woman wanted to send a platter of cookies from her favorite bakery to her sister.
Neither had to make the trip, though, thanks to a new local service. Call it the Uber — for packages.
Point Pickup, which is based in Greenwich, is a same-day delivery app and website that utilizes neighbors to provide same-day delivery to and from any point within its service area.
Tom Fiorita, Point Pickup’s founder and CEO, came up with the idea a year ago while he was stuck in traffic on the Post Road.
“I was sitting in my car. And I looked around and everybody was in their cars by themselves — and I said to myself, ‘Everybody should be making money driving their car while they are waiting,’” Fiorita said.
And then Fiorita, who worked in logistics and sales for Pepsico, began to develop Point Pickup.
The service is simple. A user signs up for an account on an iPhone, Android or web app with a credit card. They then see a map and can select a location for pickup and drop-off.
When a user asks for a package to be picked up, their request is sent to Point Pickup’s drivers. The first one to accept the job picks up the package.
Drivers can work flexibly, choosing where they would like to work, what hours they would like to work and even the types of packages they would like to handle.
Some drivers don’t like to pick up food, for example, Fiorita said.
The service charges a standard fee — there are no tips like Uber — and drivers get an 80 percent cut of each delivery fee charged.
“The drivers are very happy how we have built that model for them,” Fiorita said. “The driver is not sitting there with his hand out (waiting for a tip).”
On-demand services have been popping up across the country. Another service, Roadie, allows individuals driving long distances between cities to carry packages for others.
But Point Pickup is decidedly local. It even hands out promotional stickers to local businesses, who can now offer local home delivery to its customers.
While the service is currently available only in southern Fairfield and Westchester counties, Point Pickup hopes to expand in targeted suburban affluent markets outside of major U.S. cities.
In the next three years, the company hopes to be in 25-30 markets, Fiorita said.
One of the largest brand champions are its drivers, who can hand out business cards and flyers to future users.
“They can almost build their own business,” Fiorita said. “It’s just a win-win.”
For more on Point Pickup, visit its website .
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