New ideas reinvent parcel delivery
James Chin Moody reckons he could send a package of Tim Tams from his doorstep to Mount Everest using the package delivery service he founded.
Yet the former CSIRO executive does not employ a legion of transport workers from Australia to Nepal.
The creator of Sendle used his engineering and technology to find and use the available capacity of couriers around the world and connect them.
Using Sendle’s technology, customers can have their packages picked up on arrival and tracked to delivery across Australia and over 220 countries.
Although a series of couriers can perform long distance delivery, the customer only deals with Sendle.
AP Ventures, backed by Afterpay, was among the investors who recently contributed $ 45 million to the growth.
An electrical engineer, Mr. Chin Moody became interested in logistics about ten years ago when he was mainly looking after his two sons.
He and his wife had started an online marketplace so families could donate items such as children’s clothing that they no longer needed.
People were eager to use it, but Mr. Chin Moody noticed that the shipping costs were excessive.
“Building this business showed us that the hard part was the shipping,” he said.
E-commerce was still in its infancy and Mr. Chin Moody saw a huge need for it.
“We realized that small businesses and e-commerce were going to take off,” he said. “But the small businesses were at an absolute disadvantage in the shipping game.”
Small businesses could rarely afford international logistics providers such as DHL, which Sendle uses for all international deliveries.
Sendle started in 2014. Since then, over 800,000 small businesses have used it to benefit logistics giants that typically don’t serve small businesses.
Last year, the business doubled in size as people resorted to online shopping during the pandemic.
“Shipping is the new battleground for electronic commerce,” Chin Moody said.
“If we don’t help small businesses come up with a more affordable shipping solution, they will be left behind. “
Steve Orenstein and his company Zoom2u are also capitalizing on the growth of small business e-commerce.
Mr. Orenstein founded his company in the same year 2014, after missing a home delivery three times.
Like Mr. Chin Moody, he had no training in logistics but believed in his technological skills.
“The (missed delivery) experience got me thinking, ‘this is a really crappy experience for the customer and the driver,’” he said.
“I knew technology could solve this problem and create a better experience.”
Zoom2u operates on an Uber-style model of ordinary people using their vehicles to deliver goods.
It specializes in local same day deliveries, although it is currently limited to most Australian capitals.
It has been able to offer competitive rates compared to established couriers because, as Mr. Orenstein says, the company is “a small asset”.
His company does not have warehouses. It does not own or lease a fleet of vehicles.
Instead, it has around 20 developers tinkering with software for customers and around 7,000 drivers.
The latter function differently from their more visible peers in delivering food.
Most deliveries are made during the day, and package drivers typically travel farther than food drivers.
Zoom2u drivers are paid per package delivered.
Mr. Orenstein would of course like to offer the service more widely.
He is confident that young people already accustomed to on-demand service will make this possible, and says expectations for delivery times are dropping from days to hours.
“We are at the very beginning of this,” he said.
“I’m not thinking of people aged 50 and over but of people who are 20 and growing up. They never had to wait to wonder when their cab was coming. They look on an app.
“When they want food, they look at an app. These people grew up with that mentality.
“As we age, our volumes will increase exponentially.”