Business / Startups / The Vinetta Project

How ShipLync is working to save shippers a bunch of time and effort

The platform calls itself “the Expedia for shipping.”

These shipping containers aren't gonna ship themselves. (Photo by Flickr user russellstreet, used under a Creative Commons license)

Because of her family’s background in plastics recycling, Saureen Desai knows a lot about shipping and logistics. She knows, for example, how businesses that need to ship things spend hours, whole days even, on the phone with logistics companies trying to get the best deal.

Imagine you make T-shirts, and you’ve got to ship a few containers to China. There are any number of carriers (logistics providers) that will do the actual shipping for you, which is theoretically a good thing because the competition drives down prices. But practically speaking, how do you figure out who will give you the best price? Well, you get on the phone.

And, well, that’s not very efficient.

Saureen and her husband, Somil Desai, knew there needed to be a better way — so they decided to create it. Enter ShipLync.

The duo have created a platform that’s essentially “the Expedia for logistics” — a one-stop shop for getting quotes from different service providers, booking a service provider and (importantly) keeping track of necessary documentation.

ShipLync makes money by taking three percent of what the logistics provider’s quote is — up to $20. The company doesn’t want to be overbearing on cost — Saureen and Somil hope to make a little money on a lot of deals rather than a lot of money on just a few.

For shippers the value proposition is clear — no more long days on the phone tracking down unruly information. But for logistics providers there’s an incentive too: namely, ShipLync brings in business and works as a lead generating tool.

The Columbia, Md.-based company is a member of 1776, and Saureen recently brought the team a win in the 2016 Vinetta Project $20K challenge. While there are some competitors in the space, ShipLync’s founders’ connections within the logistics industry caught the attention of the VC judges at Vinetta.

The company works with a bunch of different logistics service providers, and has customers on the shipping side, too. That said, Somil told in a recent conversation, the company’s focus right now is on acquiring new users — they’re investing in marketing (and hiring!) to that end.

Companies: 76 Forward

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