Australian parcel delivery and logistics startup Sendle is continuing to take the fight to incumbent postal operator Australia Post by offering a guaranteed lower price for national parcel sending for Australian small businesses.
Implemented from the end of March, Sendle is now guaranteeing it will ship 500g to 25kg parcels around Australia for up to 70% cheaper than rates offered by Australia Post’s parcel post service, with founder James Chin Moody saying SMEs will save, on average, 15%.
He believes this is the first time a company has offered a price guarante against Australia Post and says it’s about time, questioning why, for example, it can cost a small business $45 to send a 10kg parcel from Sydney to Perth.
“Are the big guys paying $45 to send that package? I don’t think so, and that’s why we want to make the price what it should be,” Moody told StartupSmart.
“We know we’ve always been more affordable for business owners when compared to lining up at the post office, but we felt that not many people knew about it, and we weren’t reliably affordable.”
That’s why the 2014-founded startup is “putting our money where our mouth is” and providing the guarantee. And while for Moody it’s largely about trust and attracting new customers to the Sendle platform, it’s also about bringing more competition to the Australian market.
Sendle has long had Australia Post in its sights, with the startup priding itself on disrupting the incumbent, which the founder believes has a “functional monopoly” over the Australian parcel delivery industry.
Last year Sendle emerged victorious from a two-year legal battle with the government-ran postal service after the young company tried to trademark the slogan “Post without the office”, something Moody said at the time was a win for “common sense”.
Moody says for a long time, businesses had been left with very little choice in the postal market, and Sendle’s goal is to erode the “monopoly” and provide that extra choice.
In a statement Australia Post told StartupSmart it reaches 11.7 million addresses in Australia, where its competitors including Sendle reach only a “small portion” of these addresses. Also, Australia Post said SMEs sending parcels through its service can save up to 15% on parcel costs if sending over five parcels per week.
Competition against incumbent a tough gig
Asked if Sendle’s years of pushing against Australia Post has led to the startup making any ground, Moody points to Sendle’s 30 straight months of 20% month-on-month growth.
“It’s been quite a journey. What we’re really seeing is that as soon as a business hears there’s a competitor they’ll give us a try even with just one parcel,” he says.
“And we have great conversion, 99% of our parcels are coming from customers who have sent things more than five times with us. We’ve facilitated over $100 million of SME e-commerce through Sendle.”
While Sendle claims to be gaining ground against Australia Post, Moody still says it’s a tough gig. But it’s one he believes is very rewarding thanks to the difference the company sees itself making.
“The way I put it, the best thing you can do as a startup is find a big monopoly provider in an industry everyone knows and understands, and disrupt it,” he says.
“Yes, Australis Post is a big, dominant provider in the market, and they do intimidate folk. But we’re not intimidated,” he says.
“We exist because Australians deserve to have a choice. Imagine Australia with just one airline or just one bank.”