SOURCE: Airmule


April 26, 2016 09:00 ET

Airmule's Mobile Service Pays Travelers to Fly, as the Sharing Economy Takes on the Shipping Industry

Travelers Make Money From Unused Baggage Allowance, While Shippers Send Goods Virtually Anywhere at Half the Price of FedEx

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 26, 2016) - Airmule today brought the sharing economy to the $30B international express shipping industry with the launch of a new service that connects travelers with shippers willing to pay for luggage space on international flights. The new mobile marketplace app, the first of its kind and available as a free download for iOS and Android smartphones, allows shippers to affordably express-ship items worldwide, at less than half the cost of traditional shipping options. Travelers, meanwhile, can offset their expenses, sometimes even covering the full cost of their flight.

The premise is simple. Most international flights offer passengers a luggage allowance of at least 50 or 100 pounds per passenger, so many travelers have space left over. Airmule lets travelers monetize that space by selling it to shippers needing to send an item to the same destination. Traditional shipping services such as FedEx and UPS have had the international logistics market to themselves for decades, resulting in expensive, slow and inflexible options, often requiring many days and a lot of handling for an item to reach its overseas destination.

"The power of peer-to-peer applications is astounding," said Rory Felton, co-founder of Airmule. "You only need to look at the popularity of Uber and Airbnb to see opportunities for established industries to be turned on their heads. With Airmule, we are imagining a world in which travelers can fly anywhere for free, and senders can ship worldwide. Faster. For much less. With insurance and guarantees."

While in beta, Airmule concentrated on routes between the US and China, the most expensive and heavily used shipping corridor on the planet. Residents in the top seven U.S. cities alone spend approximately $4.4 billion in global express shipping each year. The volume of shipments is thanks in part to a thriving market for US goods purchased by third-parties, representing $6.7 billion in annual sales to consumers in China alone, according to consulting firm Bain & Company. The Airmule app is now opening to more international destinations, and has already seen flights registered to countries such as India and Australia.

Commonly shipped items on Airmule include purses, clothing, shoes, and samples. Airmule encourages travelers to carefully inspect every item before accepting or repackaging it, and they always have the right of refusal. The largest single item so far has been a 45-pound bronze statue. The most expensive item was a 3-D camera. One of the quirkiest items was a box of memories being sent back to an ex-boyfriend.

Sean Yang, CEO and founder of Airmule added, "Airmule is more about connection than logistics, bringing together shippers, travelers and the recipients as well. Families, lovers, shoppers, businesses -- people are overjoyed when they receive an item that was picked up just hours before, on the other side of planet. It's empowering."

Traveling 'mule', David Knapp, said, "I love traveling and a sense of adventure. By using Airmule I was able to pay for my ticket to China, which is a place I thought I'd never be able to go. Arranging delivery was fairly easy, too, as I arranged to meet at a coffee shop near my accommodation."

Shipper, Xie Hong Li, said, "My family always asks me to buy gifts and supplies for them in the US, and ship them back to China. That usually means a trip to the post office, where I could easily waste a whole afternoon in line. Airmule has made it so convenient, I can find people around me and drop the items off after work. The transactions are so seamless, I'm not going back to the post office."


About Airmule
Founded in 2015 and built with love in Los Angeles, California, Airmule is a trusted community marketplace for anyone to affordably express ship worldwide with a traveler from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether across the country or the world, Airmule connects people to safely deliver packages anytime, anywhere at low rates and in less time. Airmule is the easiest way for people list their trip to earn money with their extra luggage space. For more information, visit

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