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[Tech30 Special Mention] How Gurugram startup Shippigo is digitising logistics for online SME sellers

One of Nitish Gupta’s friend — a platinum seller on Amazon India — confided in him the challenges he had to encounter while shipping his products. While the local logistic companies helped ship the orders, with no simple tracking mechanism, Nitish’s friend had to process every order manually. In fact, he had to do the same for the orders he received on Shopify. 

“He wasn’t able to concentrate on sales as shipping was taking up time and effort. That somehow stuck to me, and I started researching it. Soon, I realised that it is not just small companies or individuals that face issues while shipping; the problem is much more widespread,” says Nitish Gupta, CO-founder and CEO, Shippigo, tells YourStory

He started Shippigo in August 2018. Based out of Gurugram, it offers a plug and play solution that enables companies to start shipping across the world instantly. The logistics startup has made it to the special mentions category of YourStory’s curated list of Tech30 startups this year.

Making logistics simple 

“At a click, orders can be synced and processed with a carrier of their choice. We offer a host of delivery monitoring and customer engagement tools, which enables a two-way interaction between the shipper and the customer,” Nitish. 

He later roped in ex-NDTV journalist Saurabh Jaitly as the second co-founder. The duo had met at a networking conference and had complementary skill sets. 

Shippigo offers a single API integration that connects businesses to a large network of national and international shipping providers. It allows the user to track shipments every two hours, and automatically sends updates to them. 

The startup also provides discounted shipping rates and transit time prediction. “Our batch API endpoint and UI allows for instant creation of thousands of labels,” Nitish explains. The platform covers over 24,000 pin codes in India, as well as ships globally. 

Tech30: Shippigo

Saurabh Jaitly

Providing a single platform for all needs

“Customers can reschedule deliveries, cancel shipments, rate delivery experience, and product satisfaction level, etc. Companies can also send their inventory to the fulfilment centre, and we keep it safe for them. Once an order is received, we pack it, process it, and dispatch it. Users can book inbound and outbound requests, and also keep track on their inventory levels at all points via the Shippigo dashboard,” says Nitish. 

It also provides customisable shipment status SMS and email module to add a personalised touch to the tracking status messages the clients receive during the shipment journey.

Shippigo also offers easy reverse shipments, wherein it collects the shipment from the customer’s doorstep and delivers to the warehouse, at the click of a button.

“We provide an estimated date of delivery for all shipments, making the delivery experience more efficient and customer-friendly. We are the only platform that provides multi-box deliveries under one order and tracking number, as well as the option to split a single order into multiple orders, based on the items ordered and its availability,” Nitish says. 

In fact, Shippigo also hosts the inventory for ecommerce companies in its warehouses, manages the inbound and outbound activities, and packs and dispatches orders received before noon on the same day.

Amidst the pandemic, paved the way for ecommerce enablers. 

The market and differentiator 

“There’s a need for a solution that enables companies to focus on one thing, that is, increasing sales and not worry about shipments not getting dispatched and delivered on time. The increased awareness comes with an increase in options, and quality standards must be upheld,” Nitish believes. 

“You need good tie-ups with logistic partners, an invoice generation software that works with your website, a third-party tool to monitor the deliveries, another tool to update the client about the order status, and once you grow, you need a bigger warehouse, packaging staff, and warehouse management software. Shippigo offers all that on a single platform. We get our clients to start with their dispatches in minutes,” Nitish says.

Initially, the startup had challenges in setting up the right team for scaling its operations. Nitish explains that for a bootstrapped organisation, procuring and retaining good talent is always a concern. At present, it has a team of 15 employees. 

Shippigo team pooled in Rs 5 crore and built the startup to its present form in 1.5 years. 

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the logistics sector in India is expected to touch $215 billion by the end of 2020. Employing over 40 million people, the sector is expected to become the largest job creator by 2022, several reports state. 

Shippigo competes with other Indian logistics players, including Rivigo, Blackbuck, Delhivery, Shiprocket, Narvar, ShipBob, Shippo, ClickPost, Xpressbees, and Wow Express

Revenue and future

Shippigo offers bulk shipping rates — which is specified per carrier — through real-time volumetric weight and deadweight comparison. These rates have a mark up of 30 to 35 percent. If a user wants to use their carrier account to ship, apart from the monthly subscription, it charges a flat fee of 10 cents per label generated. 

“For warehousing, we provide a minimum space (usually 500 sqft) to the company and charge per square feet of space taken. On top of that, the shipment handling and packaging cost is charged per shipment handled, with a minimum monthly charge,” Nitish explains. 

It is also looking at a subscription-based model and setting up packaging supplies stores, where the clients will be able to customise and order branded courier bags, packing takes, and corrugated boxes. 

“Online shopping drives our growth. We have all the platform integrations in place, and the warehousing and fulfilment software is being fine-tuned. Once the same is completed, we plan on opening fulfilment centres all across the country and follow that up with international markets,” says Nitish. 

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