Feature, Freight News, Rail

Canny train travelers set to save a packet

[ December 5, 2017   //   ]

A new start-up company has vowed to shake up the world of logistics with its “established and aging” practices.

LivingPackets says it has come up with a new concept for international express – using travellers on Eurostar trains between London and Paris to deliver goods.

In an operation reminiscent of some airline onboard courier operations, senders book a delivery via the LivingPackets mobile app, and deposits the item himself or asks for a pick up. The item is then delivered to a designated point near St Pancras Eurostar station where it is placed in a secure “intelligent” bag (featuring a camera, shock and temperature sensors, real-time tracking, electronic lock) by LivingPackets security operators (or ‘Guardians’).

Participating travellers are automatically notified and pick up the bag on the way to the platform.

Along with crowdfunding (or as the company prefers to call it, crowdsharing and which has so far raised £80,000) LivingPackets has gained the support of the five-star St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

The hotel’s head concierge, Salvatore Bartolone, says the new venture “will now allow us to offer a premium service to all our clients to deliver their belongings to Paris in just a few hours and at a reasonable price”.

The hotel will initially use the LivingPackets service to return lost and left-behind items to hotel guests.

LivingPackets chief executive in the UK, Marie Le Page, adds: “We also see a huge demand for fast, affordable and reliable deliveries from online retailers and luxury brands. With no existing alternative to the established and aging international logistics practices, there is a lot of room for young and disruptive ‘sharing economy’ players like LivingPackets.”

Established in 2016, LivingPackets is headquartered in Switzerland with offices in France, London, and Germany.

LivingPackets is currently talking to major transport and logistics companies about potential cooperation, and is soon planning to add Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lille, Lyon, Marseille to their European destinations.

LivingPakcets charges €18 per shipment, of which €10 goes to the traveler carrying the package, €4 to the guardians and €4 to its backers.