27 Oct 2015
Casablanca, Morocco
Sustainable Transport

Sheaply connects people wishing to ship packages or make a purchase abroad with travelers whose journey is already planned to the respective destinations. This alternative shipping method not only reduces the environmental impact, but also offers a more traditional way of commerce where the community aspect is at the heart of the project.

Sheaply is a web and mobile application, which connects the sender who wishes to send or buy a product abroad and the traveler who is in that country. Users simply register on the platform and announce their trip. When the trip interests a sender, it sends the description of the package or purchase request to the traveler. This alternative delivery system reduces the CO2 footprint as the trips are already planned. It also creates social links between users by returning to more traditional methods of delivery.

Meet Hicham Zarrouky, co-founder of Sheaply.

How did you get the idea of creating Sheaply?

My partner Zyad Yassin and I studied in France and we constantly needed to send or receive stuff from home in Morocco. The problem was that, because we were students, conventional solutions for sending packets seemed very expensive. So we tried the alternative of using our friends as couriers. We first had the idea of creating a “whatsapp” group and every time one of us traveled, he warned the others who took advantage of his trip to send documents or packages. Then as the “whatsapp” group got bigger and bigger, friends invited more friends, and we became an important community so we had the idea of ​​creating a web platform that would not be just for us and our friends, but for everyone. We realized there was a real need for alternative shipping solutions, and that’s how we launched Sheaply in December 2014.

To what extent Sheaply presents an innovation in its field?

Firstly we offer an alternative and cheaper solution for the shipment of packages also because we give access to global e-commerce to people for whom it is generally unavailable. In Morocco, currencies are not exportable. Very few people can buy internationally in currencies other than the Moroccan dirham. With the result that when you find a product abroad, on a French website for instance, you cannot buy it because your bank card only uses dirhams. You must find someone who lives in France to buy the product and deliver it. This is one of the solutions provided by Sheaply, with just a small commission paid to the traveler.

What ecological value does your project bring?

Today, to deliver a product from one country to another, the current option is to charter a plane. Instead of planes, we have a network of people already traveling, which reduces the CO2 footprint considerably.

By using this alternative system, everyone can reduce their ecological footprint. Hicham Zarrouky, co-founder of Sheaply
A sustainable solution to shipping | The Switchers

Is there a social purpose in your approach?

Yes, completely. For us it is a way to return to traditional methods. Formerly, when there were no messaging services letters were sent by carrier pigeon or by messenger! The idea is to recreate this community bond.

Are users sensitive to the fact of reducing their footprint and returning to more traditional delivery methods?

I think if the ecological aspect was our only argument, it would not necessarily be the case. But we have several arguments: cheaper prices, a social experience, access to global e-commerce as well as reducing the ecological footprint. It is the combination of these arguments that give value to our service.

Do you think your project is part of a global trend to use more sustainable economic models?

I am convinced that in the future, people will no longer use traditional delivery systems and will use people instead. There are many travelers; this sector is constantly growing, so I think in the very near future we will no longer need to use delivery companies. The rise of social networking sites like Airbnb and Uber goes to show that people are willing to use these alternative systems. I think there will be a “Uberisation” in all sectors, including shipping.

Have you created any jobs?

We are a small start-up. We are five at the moment, myself and the other co-founder, two developers and a person who takes care of customer relations. For now we cover Morocco and France, but our ambition is to introduce Sheaply worldwide.

Sheaply Package delivery
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