Carbon Neutrality in a Shipping Company

About James Chin Moody:

James Chin Moody is co-founder and CEO of Sendle. Sendle builds shipping that is good for the world that helps small businesses thrive by making package delivery simple, reliable and affordable and is the only 100% Carbon Neutral Delivery Service in Australia and the United States.

James is an experienced senior executive and board member. He was a member of the Executive team at Australia’s national research agency, CSIRO, for eight years with organisational-wide responsibility for business development, government relations, international development and strategic foresight. He was also the Chief Systems Engineer for FedSat, the first Australian satellite to be launched in 30 years.

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Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Host:

Rushit Shah: LinkedIn | E-mail

Connect with the Guest:

James Chin Moody: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Sendle’s origin story
  • How Sendle became so big in Australia and USA
  • Reaching a 100% Carbon Neutral Delivery Service
  • Skills required to be successful in Sendle
  • How to keep your sanity at work

Show notes:

  • [0:52] How did you end up at Sendle?
  • [1:45] We had a solution which is cheaper, faster, more convenient and more sustainable. That’s when we realized that maybe our purpose wasn’t just to the marketplace, but maybe it would be to empower all the marketplaces and all of those small businesses out there. That was the moment when we began Sendle and that’s the moment we actually became a shipping company.
  • [5:50] What’s the scale and scope of the business? How did you end up becoming so big?
  • [6:19] We are so focused on the needs of those customers. We’ve chosen to be 100% good to someone and good to the needs of the small businesses. And we grew over initially through a huge amount of word of mouth and now we’re partnered with some amazing companies.
  • [7:22] How did you end up reaching 100% Carbon Neutral delivery service? Is this just in Australia? Or did you achieve that in the USA as well?
  • [8:18] So firstly, we look at what we can do to create a more efficient network. What we do is we look at the actual cost, the carbon impact of the deliveries, and we go through a third party to make sure that we’re getting this bit right, and then we offset. 
  • [9:55] Do you think if you charge a little bit higher and talk to your customers that they would pay because you’re doing carbon neutralization?
  • [10:09] I don’t know, because we’ve never done that. If you want truly lasting change, you try to get rid of the trade off. It’s very important.
  • [15:05] With regards to climate change. I mean, that’s one of the biggest issues right now. Why isn’t everybody following your footsteps?
  • [16:14]  The eCommerce Industry is tightly coupled to the health of the economy. And if this is a massive drag on the economy, that is not having a solution to climate change. In the long run, the economy is built upon the society, which is built upon the environment. 
  • [18:51] Do you mind sharing how much offsetting looks like on the bottom line? Like, was it less than 10%? Or is it 100%?
  • [19:03]  Yeah, it’s absolutely less than that but it really depends on what sort of business you’re in. We look at GMV terms as well, like it’s the actual amount. It’s way less.
  • [19:42] What are the success stories you have where you have big corporations coming in or small scale business owners coming in selling their products? Or have you kind of created something which is out of the box for those small business owners sending the parcels within Australia or the US?
  • [20:13] Yeah, just to give you a context, we’re no longer a giving marketplace. Now, we pivoted completely within about three or four months to becoming a small business courier. We create competitive advantage for small businesses by reducing their cost, reducing the time spent that they need to do for shipping and giving them tools to help them build their business.
  • [24:20] What challenges keep you awake at night now where you basically have to keep running the business at the minimum growth or investing in growing or transforming drastically?
  • [24:41] I think that that’s coupled with the fact that there are some headwinds around the economy, particularly in the US. But actually like the global economy as well. I think it’s gonna be a tough time. We as a business took a hard look and we made sure that we had sufficient cash to see through what we call weathering the storm. 
  • [25:55] It’s amazing how the region you have basically decided is US and Australia, they’re quite different, the way they operate, the model is quite different. So why are there two locations? Why did the US come to mind? 
  • [26:30] Because we, interestingly, couldn’t find anything to do with what we’re doing, the way we’re doing it, anywhere in the world. And we decided that if we’re going to actually start having global aspirations as a small Australian company, you might as well start this, the largest e-commerce market in the world.
  • [27:34] What are the skills required to be successful within Sendle?
  • [27:56] We look for what we call the five H’s. So that is in order, humble, honest, happy, hungry, and high performing. And the reason why it’s in order is because we actually believe that those things cascade.
  • [31:11] How do you keep your sanity at work? 
  • [31:59] We have a very firm role in the business as well, which is family always comes first. It is absolutely a period where we should be looking at mental health and what we can do to support each other. 
  • [33:17] Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently in 2014?
  • [34:37] So if I go back in time, it would be like how can you make this decision quicker? Or what can you do to timebox it? Or what can you do to make it better? How can you make sure that the whole team becomes more lined around this particular direction so that we can get more focused? Those are the things that I look back on and wish that I could have done better.
  • [35:27] Can you share more about Sendle with our audience?
  • [35:32] I think for all of you out there, who are the small business people, we have marketplaces like there’s a huge range. That’s what we’re built for. We’re really built for you. And our job is to help you become bigger. Like, we believe that we truly only succeed when you succeed and so if you’re looking for a shipping solution that’s simple, reliable, and affordable. Please give us a shot.

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