Five top shipping startups to consider for your supply chain

Each day brings a flurry of new services that companies can use for their shipping needs, but it gets a little difficult to find the gold in that growing mountain.

We’ve done a bit of sifting for you and pulled out five nuggets that we think are worth a deeper look based on your needs. E-commerce is often the name of the game, but these all help you move past to have a broader, deeper shipping operation.

1. Flexport

Real-time visibility of shipments via a smart app is the core business model of Flexport. The company comes in with experienced customs and logistics staff, with customers saying they can respond quickly and answer a wide range or questions or concerns.

Read all about the top 25 supply chain startups of 2017 here

With its platform, you can book shipments, track freight globally, create a wide range of reports and visualizations, and conduct analytics across the supply chain. The app layout makes the process easy to use while still powerful, so it’s likely a freight forwarder that will feel familiar and friendly to any new staff.

2. Shyp

Shyp is a courier service company that helps businesses find the easiest and most affordable way to ship items. An interesting part of the business is that Shyp will pick up items, back them, and then select the best shipping rate for you.

The service supports small e-commerce stores, SMBs with a digital and physical presence, and enterprises as well as high-volume shipping operations.

Simplicity is a big reason we’re looking at Shyp, with an integration process that customers find relatively simple as well as easy access to shipment tracking, price comparisons, and returns. It’s a growing company, so some services are limited to the San Francisco Bay Area. 

3. Floship

When e-commerce goes global, Floship is a new provider that’s stepped up to provide shipping services. It has a strong and very transparent e-commerce fulfillment service from Hong Kong. It only charges for storage, picking, and shipping, which may be a savings for brands have goods who can work within the surrounding region.

One side of the business that deserves a look is its crowdfunding fulfillment — check it out even if you’re not going to be crowdfunding a project yourself. Fulfillment is one of the biggest complaints about crowdfunding operations and it’s a smart branding play and service offering.

4. project44

The flood of automation in the supply chain can make it difficult for new brands to stand out, but project44 is cementing itself in many lists thanks to an intelligent automated transportation service.

The platform runs “quote-to-invoice” across freight settings like LTL, FTL, high-volume LTL, and rail. The service is robust enough that sections can support e-commerce brands, 3PLs, and retailers directly.

Find shipping software to suit your company with this free online comparison tool

At its core, project44 is a series of smart web-service APIs that the company hopes will replace legacy tools that aren’t fast or robust enough to meet the new demands of the supply chain, especially in realms like IoT.

5. Shippo

And the final piece of our puzzle is Shippo, another firm in the API and dashboard space for e-commerce brands as well as marketplaces. The company has lately been focusing on eBay support, offering customers access to the eBay Guaranteed Delivery and having been selected as the official shipping platform for eBay Canada.

It’s RESTful shipping API is very developer-friendly with sample coding, pre-built libraries, and documentation that full stack developers speak well of in the field.

For non-developers, the system provides significant support for labels, scanning, sync tracking to a storefront, and tools that support standard business models through some of the newer peer-to-peer marketplaces.

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Geoff Whiting

About the author…

Geoff is an experienced journalist, writer, and business development consultant with a focus on enterprise technology, e-commerce, and supply chain development. Outside of the office he can be found toying with the latest in IoT, searching for classic radio broadcast recordings, and playing the perpetual tourist in his home of Washington D.C.

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Geoff Whiting