Shipping Pal is an online shipping search engine, providing rush, same-day, overnight and ground service all across North America. It comprises the largest independent network of shipping service providers, with over 50 allied companies across the continent.
Origins and early history
Shipping Pal Corporation, as it is currently known, was founded by Martin Mills and Hardin Jackson in Toronto, Canada in 2003. Friends since high school and principals in internet development firm Jenari, the two were also keen eBay users. They realised that there was an opportunity to apply the auction model – or a variant thereof – to the shipping process in eBay transactions, and by extension to the general public.
Through a strategic partnership with Complete Innovations, creators of the logistics management software Courier Complete,they were able to create a network of 50 courier companies across North America, with particularly strong coverage in Ontario, Alberta, California, Texas and New York state.
Subsequent negotiations with UPS and Purolator enabled Shipping Pal to provide coast-to-coast coverage in North America, as well as international outbound shipping service. Shipping Pal’s integration with these companies, as well as several others, is handled via Go Logix, a comprehensive suite of Web Based shipping and logistics solutions.
Shipping Pal was launched as a public beta in June 2006 in the Toronto area, with plans for a national launch in November 2006.
Products and Services
Shipping Pal uses a quick quote engine, based on postal codes, package weight and size, to return a range of shipment options to their customers. Using a proprietary XML method, the customer’s query is dispatched to all shipping companies providing service in the pickup zone, and the quotes are returned and sorted by price and delivery time. Customers can then determine which option provides them with the best balance of price and service, fill in the detailed information required for delivery (such as exact pickup and delivery addresses) and purchase their shipment via credit card.
The primary advantages of Shipping Pal are in its convenience and ease of use – instead of having to go to a retail outlet and fill out forms by hand, Shipping Pal customers can complete their shipping orders from home or office in just a few minutes. The savings in time are often matched by savings in terms of cost, as Shipping Pal’s volume service provides its customers with highly competitive rates. Additionally, Shipping Pal users can track all their shipments from a single website, simplifying the follow-up process and ensuring peace of mind.
Shipping Pal customers can select from a wide range of services, from rush and super-rush local deliveries (up to a 30 minute delivery time) to standard overnight and ground service. Shipping Pal’s service providers are hand-picked by industry experts on the basis of their excellent service and commitment to prompt delivery and superior customer service.
Applications & Markets
Shipping Pal is in the process of developing APIs to permit qualified third-parties to automate shipment orders through Shipping Pal. Recent agreements reached with shipping service providers have also strengthened its representation in key Eastern Seaboard markets.