On Nov. 5, 2014, a new company announced its arrival in Australia, promising to take on the monopoly of package delivery that was the Australia Post. Sendle’s founders saw e-commerce’s potential and realized the volume would create inefficiencies and add cost.
“Sendle estimates between 30-40 million parcels are sent between Australians each year, and collectively we are wasting millions of hours travelling to and queuing up at the local post office,” the press release on that day stated.
James Chin Moody, one of the co-founders and now Sendle’s CEO, told Modern Shipper the company got its start as an e-commerce marketplace before quickly pivoting.
“We started to build out this synthetic network of carriers. That’s when we realized our purpose wasn’t to make sharing easy, but to make shipping easy,” he said.
A delivery platform was born.
Since its debut, Sendle now handles between 3% and 5% of the Australian market’s e-commerce shipping. In 2019, the company came to the U.S. and has grown quickly. Unlike the big carriers, Sendle offers a single flat-rate shipping charge and importantly, is planning no surcharges this holiday season, regardless of the volumes shippers are sending through the Sendle network. The company helps connect e-commerce shippers to available capacity from regional and local trucking companies.
Sean Geoghegan, Craig Davis and founding director Kohei Nishiyama are the other co-founders.
Sendle has designed its networks specifically for e-commerce businesses, offering local (less than 150 miles) and national rates, but unlike other providers, shippers pay flat rates based on weight. For instance, a small package weighing less than 5 pounds costs $7.30 to send locally and $8.11 to ship nationally under the Sendle Premium plan, which is designed for businesses shipping a minimum of 20 packages a month. There are also Standard (no minimum shipping quantities but slightly higher rates) and Pro plans (minimum 200 packages a month but the lowest possible rates). The fast-growing shipping provider saw record growth in 2020 and now has more than 800,000 global users, it said. Moody said the company has surpassed 5 billion miles of deliveries in the U.S.
Sendle said its rates can be as much as 88% less than those of traditional carriers. It has integrations with popular e-commerce sites Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY), Squarespace and WooCommerce, among others.
Moody said the mission of the company is to make it as easy as possible for small shippers to transport goods to the end customer. There are no minimums to start shipping and no subscription fees, he said. To utilize Sendle, all the seller must do is sign up for one of the platforms where Sendle is offered as a shipping option. Sign-up is also available at sendle.com.
Moody said that many shippers complicate the shipping process, adding surcharges that change, accessorial charges and more. “It creates a land mine,” he said. “Let’s make it simple. The price is the price … which means you can focus your time on making your products and building business.”
This summer, Sendle reached agreement with GLS Group to handle last-mile parcel deliveries in eight Western states. GLS offers parcel, less-than-truckload and truckload transportation solutions in Europe and the western U.S. The agreement enables e-commerce sellers to send goods through the Sendle shipping network for one-day and two-day delivery in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. In addition, regional shippers receive free pickups and shipment tracking.
Sendle is able to offer two-day or quicker shipping to 95% of the U.S. today, and is out to prove that there is room for more logistics services. Moody noted that for smaller shippers, especially e-commerce sellers, the fragmented and highly regional nature of the U.S. shipping market makes it difficult to move goods efficiently.
“There’s a lot of trucks on the roads and they are not all UPS (NYSE: UPS) and FedEx (NYSE: FDX),” he said. “We’re untapping that capacity in those networks and making them available for the small shippers.”
The other business proposition Sendle is betting on is its B Corp status. A B Corp is a business that meets verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability standards to balance profit and purpose, as defined by the Certified B Corp. All of the shipments in Sendle’s networks are carbon-neutral.
All decisions in the company are made for the long term, Moody said, and for helping customers succeed.
“The very heart of that purpose is to help small business thrive,” he said. “Our entire model is about unlocking big business [advantages] for small businesses.”