Co-founder Andrew Chen told TechCrunch that the company decided to make the Postmen API, previously offered as an enterprise SaaS subscription, free of charge in response to the huge spike in online shopping caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 60% of Postmen users are in the United States.
Since February Aftership Chen said shipments grew by 85%, which contrasts sharply with previous years when shipments fell after the holiday shopping season ended. Many retailers also had to transfer most or all of their operations online, and many regular stores quickly adapted to e-commerce, as restrictions on movement were introduced around the world.
Postmen work with 60 couriers, including USPS, DHL, FedEx and UPS, and integrate with the retailer’s existing delivery system. This allows them to print shipping and return labels, as well as track courier costs, delivery times, and shipping rates. It also allows them to maintain preferential rates that they have already agreed on with couriers, and allows you to add new couriers within two weeks, a process that, according to Chan, usually takes months.
He added that giving retailers greater flexibility during a pandemic that destroyed many logistics and distribution networks.
“If you send postal services, we have data that shows that, for example, most parcels in China Post usually arrived within 26 days, but now it is 40 days. Some of them take longer, and some leave at normal times, but the problem is that we don’t know, ”Chan said. “Postmen make it easier for users to switch to other carriers, and then for tracking, we give an idea of delivery performance, so you can analyze carriers and choose others.”
Founded in 2012 with headquarters in Hong Kong, AfterShip products are used by customers, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large enterprises. Postmen include Etsy, Harry’s Razor Blades and Watson’s, one of the world’s largest beauty and health product groups. Chen said Watson uses shipping management software for its operations in the Asia-Pacific region, including from a warehouse to a store operated by several couriers.
Some of the smaller companies that use Postman include an e-commerce service provider. FloshipIts co-founder, Stephen Su, said in a statement that the delivery time for Floship mail items was one to two weeks, but after a pandemic it increased to 60 or more days. At the same time, Floship postage grew by almost 100%.
“In order for our business to survive the pandemic, we need to offer express delivery with large carriers, and postmen allow us to do this. Instead of building our own integrations with telecom operators, we can browse the catalog of existing Postmen telecom integration solutions and get express delivery within 2-3 days, ”Su said. “Without the Postmen, we would need to hire three additional full-time developers to manage and support our delivery process. Postmen saved us a lot of time and helped speed up the offer of new and better solutions for our customers. ”