Sendle, an Australian shipping company that bills itself as the first carrier built specifically to help small e-commerce businesses, is setting up shop in Amazon’s backyard.
The company just opened an office with room for 30 people in downtown Seattle that will serve as its U.S. headquarters. Sendle made its U.S. debut in September, and it offers two-day delivery to 92 percent of U.S. addresses.
“Seattle is at the forefront of e-commerce in America, and it’s such an exciting time for our industry,” Sendle CEO and co-founder James Chin Moody told GeekWire via email. “Even better, Seattle is perfectly situated for a business that’s working across time zones, and importantly, we love the Pacific Northwest culture.”
Sendle doesn’t have any couriers or trucks of its own. Instead, Sendle ships packages in other carriers’ delivery trucks, taking advantage of unused space. The company says a Sendle package may travel across multiple carriers throughout its journey.
Since it was founded in 2014, Sendle has raised close to 27 million Australian dollars. The 100-person company says it wants to help small businesses level the playing field against Amazon and big retailers who have shifted expectations for shipping speed and cost.
Small e-commerce shops aren’t shipping the volume required to secure advantageous rates or convenient services, said Chin Moody, previously an executive at CSIRO, Australia’s national research agency. They also can’t absorb high shipping costs. That’s a problem as consumers expect fast shipping and might abandon a purchase if shipping fees aren’t waived.
Chin Moody said “shipping has become the new battleground for consumer spending, and the cost to small businesses is far too high.”
“Sendle’s shipping service is designed specifically for the small guys,” he added. “Our model unlocks infrastructure and rates generally reserved for big business, and makes it simple, more affordable, and more environmentally sustainable for the small end of town.”
Entrepreneurs running online businesses have various options to ship products to customers. Amazon, for example, offers fulfillment services for small businesses that want to take advantage of its logistics capabilities.
Chin Moody noted that Sendle is 100 percent focused on the needs of small business. “That’s something we don’t see anyone else doing,” he said.
Sendle calls itself the first carbon-neutral shipping company in the U.S. It purchases carbon offsets to mitigate its environmental impacts. It also offers compostable packaging in Australia, and Sendle plans to bring that to the U.S. by the end of the year.
“The fact that we’re the first 100 percent carbon-neutral shipping service also sweetens the deal for small businesses looking for ways to compete,” Chin Moody said. “Not only do they know they’re choosing an option that’s better for the planet, but it helps them attract eco-conscious customers as well.”
In Seattle, Sendle is working with companies such a Jill & Joey, which makes reusable eco-friendly products to replace single-use items, and Firefly Kitchens, which makes fermented food such as sauerkraut.
Sendle offers several different flat-rate shipping plans for sellers. It integrates with e-commerce platforms eBay and Shopify, and its website says it is working on integrations with Amazon, Etsy and others.
“Our goal is to make it easy for sellers to use Sendle, regardless of what platform or platforms they sell their goods on,” Chin Moody said.