smailex

Startup: Smailex

Founded: Jan 2013

Founder: Ivan Grekov,

Base: Incorporated in Tex, team in Russia

The amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming. Some companies are smart about building easy to navigate websites, many big brand websites are bloated and confusing. This is especially true in the logistics industry. Ever try figuring out how much it’s going to cost to ship something using FedEx?

After spending years in the industry, Ivan Grekov saw an opportunity to make the shipping process easier, faster and cheaper. He founded Smailex, one part shipping comparison site, one part shipping alternative.

“FedEx has more than 50 different surcharges and fees,” says Grekov. “They always bill differently and even when you use them frequently, some invoices could be bigger than others.”

Grekov likened Smailex to the Expedia for shipping. You can visit the site and compare shipping rates from the major US carriers such as UPS, FedEx and USPS. If you’re so inclined, you can even opt to use Smailex shipping services and take advantage of the company’s bulk rate discount. You can pay and print your shipping labels all in one place.

Smailex, which launched earlier this year and is growing at a steady rate. But Grekov says growth has been slow and the cost of acquiring new customers is high. Still, he says, Smailex is in a great position to help smaller sellers such as those on Etsy and eBay manage costs by providing an discounted alternative shipping option. He says Smailex isn’t just for retailers though.

“About 10 percent of all shipments are returns,” says Grekov. “And many companies don’t provide return labels.”

In this way, Grekov says Smailex can be a general service that can be used by individuals, who can still take advantage of the Smailex discount pricing. The vision, he says is for people to think of Smailex as “the other carrier” and a viable option to avoid the confusing complicated processes with the major carriers.