Network of Freelance and Volunteer Shipping Carriers (idea created by Casey Van Tieghem)

or Network of Logistics Volunteers (Nickname: relayers)

This is a very exciting idea, because it's fun, positive, and anyone who has a car can be involved.

Here is a fictional story that describes many aspects of this idea:

"I wanted to deliver a package that was a gag gift to my friend in Los Angeles, and I live in San Diego. Every year we give each other back these old dirty shoes as a gag gift, it's an old inside joke. I was in no particular hurry, and I found about through a search engine that there was this this Network of Freelance and Volunteer Shipping Carriers website. I found out that it cost nothing to register and to ship.  I registered my package there, and dropped off my package at the processing center at a UCSD.  I checked on the internet to see if the package had been picked up, and a volunteer carrier picked up the package and had registered this event on the website. I kept tracking the delivery, and this package was carried by several volunteers to destinations all over San Diego county, almost endlessly back and forth, then finally about a month later it ended up in Los Angeles, where another carrier finally placed the gift in a processing center at UCLA. My friend in LA was tracking the package the whole time too, but I didn't tell him what it was. When he called me it was hilarious that all this effort was made to deliver some stupid shoes. But seriously I thought this was a great idea, and I started donating some items to poor children in Mexico using this system. I also have volunteered as a carrier myself, and occasionally pick up items at processing centers near my residence and deliver them at no cost to the processing center at my place of work, now that I told my co-workers about it we have our own processing center! Some of the packages you can view the progress of online to see the progress of the delivery, and some of my packages that I helped deliver went as far away as New Foundland in Canada on the east coast. The network is getting better and better. The volunteer system is still a bit of a joke, but for low dollar amount packages and if you are not in a hurry to deliver them, you can't beat the price. And there are carriers that you pay a small amount to that have a good rating, and good comments on the website. To make a little extra money I'm starting to deliver used auto parts from a junkyard near my house to people near my doctor's office downtown. It pays for the gas, so why not?  At my work place, the IT developers have gotten into improving the website on their spare time, and creating a special group that does charity work on behalf of our company."


Brief description of idea.

The idea is rather abstract, like describing baseball.

The core of this concept is to have a system that is internet based, a website of all volunteer programmers in an open code system that keeps track of shipping carrier volunteers in a profile like facebook, tracks the shipping of packages like UPS, allows customers or organizations to comment, or rate carriers like eBay.

But not all of the concept is just the internet. The internet is a tool that is used to organize the network.

The real network is a network of non-paid volunteer, non-profit paid, and for-profit paid carriers that do this with one to many motives.

Just like the internet, this network is not owned by anyone, but is a co-operative effort of various organizations, charities, and commercial enterprises in the same way the internet has non-profit, for profit, and individual users.

Motives of the carriers are:

To volunteer to help a cause or help donate items to charity, or deliver charitable goods to destinations.

As a hobby to build community, and make new friends and have fun tracking the progress of items that are being delivered.

To reduce pollution of the environment by transporting items that would require a fuel consuming vehicle to be dedicated to.

To defray costs of transportation.

To make small amounts of money with minimum effort and hassle.

To develop a network and show that the carrier is a responsible person that can be employed.

To make money advertising a products, or selling products.

Purpose - The variety of purposes of this network is almost as varied as the purpose of the internet. 

As a hobby, similar to facebook, or twitter.

To build community.

To deliver packages at a low cost.

To get donated items, or gifts delivered at low cost, and give others the opportunity to contribute to the charity with little time, money, or effort needed.

As an educational experiment that has many aspects to it, from technical such as developing the website for the network, and the social aspects of it.

To make small amounts of money with little effort, or to cover the expense of gas in a persons travels.

To advertise products, or sell products in a way that is non-intrusive, or interesting.

To raise awareness of various charity causes, or religious messages.

To give people hope that society can work together for a common good.

For entertainment to see lists of top carriers in various categories, and winners of various package delivery stories that are funny.

(The voluntary carrier packages may go to multiple destinations in a very unusual and comic manner, for example, if you wanted to deliver a package from San Diego to Boston via voluntary carriers, if you are lucky enough to get the package delivered, you might see the package go to Los Angeles, then back To San Diego, then to Phoenix, then to Salt Lake City, then Seattle, then San Fran Cisco, then back to Los Angeles, then to Las Vegas, then to Dallas, then to Chicago darting all over the map until possibly even years later it lands in Boston. This is like a reality show in the kind of entertainment, dramatic, funny, suspenseful, and interesting.)

Network - This is not a single-owned shipping carrier, it is a network of individual paid and un-paid shipping carriers

Freelance and Volunteer - Small amounts of money can be made mainly to cover the cost of gas, or for special delivery methods. Also goods may be sold, or advertised to make money. Volunteers can commit very little of thier time, or much of thier time.

Shipping Carriers - Carriers vehicles are not necessarily dedicated to delivering packages.  Carriers register into the network with a given route, and pool thier resources which is mainly a vehicle, a driver, and a regular route that they already drive. For example in thier periodic or daily commute to work, school, church, the library, etc. Carriers can also notify the network of special trips, such as vacations.

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