French start-up creates BlaBlaCar low-cost option for sending parcels

Cocolis.fr works by putting people who want a delivery in touch with private or commercial vehicles with empty space that are making the trip, similar to BlaBlaCar

17 July 2021

Anyone who wants to receive or send a package puts an advert on the website with details of route, dates and a photo of the object if possible Pic: Michael Nivelet / Shutterstock

If you need to have a package delivered within France, Cocolis.fr may be a low-cost option.

It claims its delivery fees for heavy or fragile packages are up to 80% cheaper than traditional transport firms.

It works by putting people who want a delivery in touch with private or commercial vehicles with empty space that are making the trip. It is similar to car sharing websites such as BlaBlaCar, but instead of finding rides for passengers, it finds space for parcels.

The French start-up was created in August 2015 by Eliette Vincent, in partnership with Julien Lardé, after she spotted a cheap chest of drawers she liked on Le Bon Coin but had no way of getting it to her home without paying far more than it cost to buy.

Since its launch, the start-up has won several awards for innovation and last November it was recommended by the government to businesses wanting to sell to customers who could not come to them during confinement.

Anyone who wants to receive or send a package puts an advert on the website with details of route, dates and a photo of the object if possible.

The site then gives the average price you should offer to pay for that type of delivery.

Typical prices on the site when The Connexion looked were a surfboard from Trélazé, Maine-et-Loire, to Paris, a distance of 300km, for €29 and a desk from Saint-Marcel, Eure, to Paris, 83km for €24.

You then receive propositions and can text via the site to finalise details.

Payment is online, but Cocolis does not hand over the money to the transporter until it has received confirmation of receipt of the package.

The goods will be automatically insured up to a value of €150. There are then rates to insure packages up to €1,500, €3,000 or €5,000.

If you have room in your car for a package, you can either register the details of your trip on the site or look through the ads to see if there is one which matches your journey.

Cocolis claims the average price for delivery of a guitar on a 113km route between Nantes and Rennes would be €18, compared to €40 from competitors.

It would be almost impossible to find anyone to move a sofa the 9km from Bayonne to Biarritz, but you could find someone on Cocolis who would transport it for €39.

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