Consumers are demanding faster shipping so carriers are scrambling to make next-day deliveries and don’t pack trucks as efficiently aka delivery trucks make their rounds with extra space in the back making each package have a higher carbon footprint than if the truck was packed efficiently.
This is where Sendle comes in. It’s a new (and fast) shipping service that leverages unused space on other carriers’ trucks. They take advantage of the inefficiencies caused by one-day shipping by cheaply booking the extra space in trucks that are going out anyway. Using this method they aren’t producing any additional emissions and lowering the carbon offsetof each package, making it the first 100% carbon-neutral national delivery service in the country. The company’s use of extra space means that it can offer the service affordably.”It doesn’t have to be a choice between carbon-neutral and saving money,” says Sendle CEO and cofounder James Chin Moody. “You can actually do both.”
The startup, a certified B Corp, grew out of another platform that the founders launched to help people donate old goods. Not finding a shipping service that was reliable and affordable enough, they ended up developing a new option for delivery themselves. It was so popular that they began offering it to others—focusing on sellers with small businesses on Etsy, eBay, and other platforms. Those customers, Moody says, are looking for “the right mix of speed and cost” and don’t necessarily need an option for next-day shipping; Sendle focuses on 2-day and 3-day shipping. In the U.S., the company will first pay for the extra space available on USPS trucks (Amazon recently cut back its use of the postal service, freeing up more room), so the packages will be delivered by your postal carrier. In the future, it could work with other carriers, like UPS and FedEx, as well.
In Australia, it works with a variety of carriers. “We basically said, ‘Look, if we can help you fill your trucks, we can improve your density, which again, improves the efficiency of the system,’” he says. The startup is also working with carriers to help them explore other ways to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping, such as shifting to new types of vehicles. It also helps customers further improve their environmental performance through offering options like a shipping pouch that can be composted in the recipient’s backyard.
Why It’s Hot
I wonder if there is a partnership or learning opportunity for USPS (potentially 250?) here since they tend to use USPS trucks more than others given the Amazon loss.