Global shipping remains an out of reach affair for most customers around the world. Prohibitively expensive shipping charge prevents many customers from ordering internationally. This is where Airposted, a startup founded by two Bangladeshis and headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and New York, USA, comes in.
Airposted simplifies global shipping using a peer to peer model where it connects global shoppers with global travelers to enable a new model of logistics that is more efficient and affordable compared to many available options.
What Airposted does it simple. It connects travelers and shoppers to enable international shipping. For example, you want to buy a product from an online platform in the US. Generally, you have to go to the website of the designated company, buy the product, pay a standard shipping charge and get the product delivered at your destination. This is the traditional model that remains expensive for most people.
With Airposted, the entire process gets simpler. Instead of using a traditional logistics model, Airposted uses travelers to deliver the product and in that way, it reduces your shipping cost meaningfully. With Airposted, to bring a product from the US, you can go to the Airposted website, find the product and place an order. Airposted will connect your order with a traveler who will be traveling to Dhaka who will thus bring your product.
The entire process is relatively cost-efficient for customers because the shipping charge is less. Since a traveler brings the product, which often does not cost him anything extra since he is already traveling to the customer’s destination, Airposted can save in shipping cost.
For travelers, it makes complete sense because he can monetize unused space in his luggage and earn some extra money in the process.
The Founders Rayan Rahman and Iqbal Anwar started the company with an ambition to change the way people ship, travel and shop using a new peer to peer shipping model.
The company says it is building an affordable, fast, secure, hassle-free shipping option for customers using a combination of innovation and excellent customer experience.
The birth of Airposted comes from personal experience. When shipping a pair of Nike shoes from New York to Dhaka, Airposted co-founder Rayan Rahman, a Bangladeshi-American found out that global logistics is expensive for most people. “I realized that this is a challenge for a lot of people. This was the inspiration for starting Airposted,” says Mr. Rayan.
At the time Rayan was a Junior at George Mason University in the US. After much thought, he soft launched Airposted in September 2016 within the George Mason University campus. Iqbal Anwar, another co-founder of the company, joined soon after to help the company grow. Mr. Anwar then helped scale the business to what we see today.
After the launch, Airposted went through a series of changes. It has changed its platform multiple times to make it better for the users. It has improved its model for working with travelers to make the experience of both travelers and customers better.
Every iteration has made Airposted better at what it does. Today, the company continues to expand and attract both new customers and travelers at an increasingly growing pace.
The company says the ambition is to become the leaders in both the domestic and international shipping. “Our business is based on peer-to-peer shipping of commodities from all over the world to the customer’s doorstep,” says Mr. Anwar Iqbal. “Anything legal, you can ship and shop through Airposted.”
There are two aspects to Airpoted’s service. One, the shoppers who order products from Airposted. Second, the travelers who work with Airposted to help shoppers get their products delivered at their doorstep.
Let’s take a look at how it all works.
For shoppers – Shop the best deals and products you want from any US website and get it delivered at your doorstep at a fraction of your regular shipping charge.
Customers can go to the Airposted website and search for the items you intend to purchase. You can also find a product using the Airposted search bar. Users can search for a product using links from other online websites and stores in the US. You simply can copy a link, say for example, from Amazon.com and paste it in the Airposted search bar. Airposted will then suggest the product along with price and service charge to have the product delivered to your doorstep. You can also find out the expected date of delivery once the order is placed, and Airposted contact information to have the goods delivered once it arrives in the terminal destination.
The company says it ensures both smooth transactions and faster delivery.
For Travelers – making travel affordable
Airposted is a unique platform for Travelers to earn money by using unused space in their luggage while traveling. Airposted shares a part of its income with the travelers. “We empower customers. At the same time, we also empower travelers who can utilize unused space in their luggage and carry goods to earn additional income,” says Mr. Iqbal. “For example, someone is traveling to Bangladesh from the US, he can simply carry a few products and earn his air fair in the process.”
To work with Airposted, travelers have to register at the Airposted website with their contact and travel details. They can also decide which products they would like to carry. Once a traveler registers, Airposted contacts with the registered travelers and guide them through the entire process.
Airposted only engages in the shipping of legal consumer products. If a traveler needs to pay any tax on Airposted goods, Airposted reimburses it upon receiving the customs receipt from the traveler. Airposted insists travelers pay taxes and custom duty at all places applicable and save the receipts to get reimbursed.
Airposted fees: Airposted changes delivery fees in two ways. One, it takes a charge which ranges between 20-25% of the product cost. Second, for large or heavy products, it charges by the product dimensions and weight. Of the charge it takes from the customers, Airposted passes 10-15% to the traveler as the carrying incentive.
Delivery time: Airposted takes two to three weeks to deliver a product. In many cases, the company says it can deliver products within ten days.
The traditional global shipping industry has not improved in the last sixty years. The industry is littered with inefficiencies and remains expensive. This is where Airposted aims to make a difference.
Peer to peer shipping is a relatively new concept. Bringing travelers to the mix improves the overall shipping process and reduce the shipping cost meaningfully. It makes it easy for consumers to order products from across the world and have it delivered to their doorsteps at an affordable cost.
Compared to the existing shipping options, Airposted is by far the cheapest international shipping service. The customers pay the original price of the product as it is and pay a charge for the delivery to the Airposted which is much lower from what other conventional shipping companies such as FedEx, DHL or a local reseller charge.
“We are in the mission to change and simplify shipping for the better,” says Mr. Rayan. “In the 21st century, where social media platform is on the rise and the generation is often dubbed as the ‘Airbnb” or ‘Uber’ generation, Airposted aims to bring the tech revolution to global shipping.”
In an interview with Future Startup Rayan Rahman says Airposted aims higher. “We never want to own planes or delivery trucks or huge buildings. We are a tech shipping company. We want to focus on our technology as we grow and be the platform connecting shoppers, senders, and travelers. We want to tackle the documents and small product segment, stuff that is easy to carry and fits in a traveler’s suitcase. We will leave the heavy and large products for traditional shipping companies. We want to be at airports. We want to partner with department stores to drop off and pick up locations, as we grow.”
Today, an increasing number of people are shopping cross border from trusted international sites. This trend has helped Airposted achieve exponential growth in the past few years. “We have seen exponential growth in the past months, thanks to a rapid rise in global cross border shopping,” says Mr. Rayan and Mr. Iqbal.
The company looks to grow its user base in the USA, India, and Bangladesh and aims to expand to markets across South Asian countries by 2021.
Learn more about how Airposted is turning global shipping upside down with a peer-to-peer shipping model here. You can also connect with Airposted co-founder Rayan Rahman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RayanRahman92