Innovation That Matters

In Belgium, delivery service uses car owners' trunks


Cardrops is a system whereby car owners' trunks act as a safe locker for the delivery of packages ordered online.

There are plenty of services that offer to take online shoppers’ packages for pickup at a time that suits them – take Miss Nev, PickupZone or UseYourLocal, for example. However, all of these ventures require the user to travel to a location in order to collect their goods. From Belgium, Cardrops is a system which delivers packages straight to car owner’s trunks. According to the startup, 30 percent of packages are sent to empty houses – meaning that the items are sent back to a depot, the delivery company makes a loss and the recipient has to travel to pick it up at a later date. In order to tackle this problem, Cardrops uses a GPS unit – fitted inside customers’ cars – which tracks their parking habits, and also links its electric unlocker with the owners’. When a user selects Cardrops as their method of delivery for an online order, the system identifies a likely time and location that the car will be parked – in the driveway in the morning or at work in the afternoon, for example. The package is left in the trunk and an SMS is sent to confirm successful delivery. If the car isn’t parked at the location or time it usually is, the GPS relays the information to Cardrops in real-time and the delivery is rescheduled. Customers can buy the Cardrops kit for EUR 99.00 EUR, paying EUR 4.95 per delivery, or sign up to a monthly subscription allowing unlimited deliveries for EUR 24.95 and waiving the cost of the kit. The idea has the potential to cut costs for courier firms due to guaranteed delivery and means online shoppers don’t have to make another trip to the sorting depot. However, many people may have reservations about strangers having access to their car, as well as the fact that the company tracks their location in real-time. If the service is successful in dispelling concerns over these potential flaws, this is definitely one to keep an eye on. Spotted by: Michael D’hooge



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