startups

From laundry detergent to office supplies, you can order online and have it delivered to your door. Amazon and Wal-Mart, two of the largest supply chains for inventory, work with every major carrier and delivery system available. But, even they’re funneling long driving routes into smaller hubs; multiple locations by city or region.

The United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and UPS all offer tracking systems so you can make sure your package arrives on time. But, there are other delivery systems coming online to help startups track their packages both domestically and internationally.

If you’re a startup, you may not have the luxury the of the bigger brands’ reach or funding, you’ve got something better and it’s in the palm of your hand. The old technology of logistics is antiquated; paper and pen for many, emails, and phone calls. All that back and forth and it’s easy to lose track. Not to worry, there’s an app for that.

It’s About Fulfillment

The cumbersome process of managing shipments the old way caused delays and possible mis- or non-deliveries. ShipLync founders, Somil Desai and his wife, Saureen saw a weakness in outmoded logistics systems and developed a platform to streamline the shipping process.

In our ever-connected world, they realized the old way of shipping packages was antiquated and that for startups specifically, fulfillment options were lacking. Noticing a weak spot for organizations in regard to logistics management, they created ShipLync to help keep everyone on track and on route.

Realizing that between domestic ground transportation, ocean freight, and air freight containers the sheer number of calls, emails, and redundant paperwork could easily get out of hand. ShipLync’s aim is to not only streamline the process, but also reduce costs and minimize redundancies. By connecting customers with transportation carriers like UPS, CH Robinson, and XPO Logistics, the entire process is completed in one location; on the ShipLync platform.

How it Works

A customer orders a product and requests shipping. The shipping request is sent to providers in ShipLync’s network, from there the providers are able to offer quotes in real-time. They can do this from anywhere; laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Beyond the current shipping and delivery systems, the ability to control distribution equipment and other technologies must also keep up with demand.

With so many options to receive on-the-spot quotes instantly submitted to the customer, providers never miss an opportunity for business.

While crowd sourcing leaders such as Uber and Transfixio are already using the platform, ShipLync wondered how to get the word out to other shippers. Particularly those still shipping packages the old way. Elana Fine, executive director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business suggested simply focusing on their current users. Focusing on their current customers and meeting their needs could easily result in a form of word-of-mouth advertising to other shipping carriers.

Reshaping the Industry

Online shopping has completely changed the logistics industry. The rate at which consumers can receive packages is staggering , the shift into same-day and next day delivery has reshaped the industry, particularly how warehouses look. No longer are few distant warehouses a viable option, so companies have begun focusing on smaller sites. These micro sites are often near city centers and urban areas. In addition to the microsites, deliveries to locker locations allow retailers to send packages to one location. This locker location allows consumers to come and pick up their items, rather than the costly disbursement of multiple trucks to multiple locations.

The industry’s new focus is on the “last mile” or last leg of delivery and tech startups have responded to this demand. Startup tech logistics providers such as Brinng and Deliv offer real-time tracking, allowing distributors and dispatch to manage orders from the web.   

Final Thoughts

As processes get streamlined and shipping times shorten, a new market for innovation has opened. The growth in e-commerce has created a demand for faster, cheaper ways to get packages and products to consumers. Current application platforms such as ShipLync, Bringg, and Deliv offer more control to consumers, distributors, and shipping providers to insure packages arrive on time and On-route.