Shyp is the easiest way to ship your stuff. A driver comes to your house or business, picks up all items, then takes them away to be professionally packed and shipped to their destination. They will connect the package to USPS, FedEx, UPS, OnTrac or other regional carriers - automatically figuring out the best carrier to use for each individual delivery. They are currently doing business in San Francisco, New York and Miami, thanks to over $12 million in venture funding in 2014.
Intermediaries are always coming and going in the supply chain space. Remember WebVan, who eliminated going to the supermarket? A fantastic failure, but we now see a whole group of sons and daughters, like FreshDirect, which will likely succeed.
Are companies like Shyp part of that same dis-intermediation trend? Or are they just ephemeral players while something bigger and better comes along. Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
- Labor Force--all of these companies, such as Doordash, Cargofish, SpoonRocket, Washio, Ice Cream Life, Caviar, Grubhub, FoodPanda, Shutl, Zipments, Delivery.com, Instacart, Drizly, Postmates, Deliv, Uber, Daojia.com.cn, favor, parcel, Rosie, curbside, Door to Door Organics, Loup, to name but a few recent investments, require a mobile work force willing to work weird hours for low pay. We will certainly run out of unemployed English majors to fill these roles very soon. And what about the 250K shortage of over-the-road truck drivers, and other critical supply chain jobs no one wants? No delivery if no pickup...
- Technology--successful supply chain companies are all about scale economies, route density and asset-light operations.What if UPS or USPS offers to do the same thing as Shypd--pick up a box, pack it and ship it? Might cost a bit more, but those guys have the tech and route density to kill such start ups. Believe me, they are looking closely at these companies to see if they gain traction and then pounce--either by acquisition or competitive offering.
- What's next?--think one stop shopping when it comes to products flowing in and out of the home. You want reliable service, drivers who are not criminals, times matched to your needs and decent prices. Small companies simply cannot provide these services in a cost-effective manner. There will be some interesting consolidations in this industry in the next few years.