The people of Portland are a creative bunch, and small businesses citywide proudly display their penchant for collaboration and thinking outside the box. In this community, inspiration is the shared lifeblood that flows freely and boldly between innovators. Locally grown shipping startup Rynly is one of the latest enterprises to flourish in this bountiful entrepreneurial environment, and attention to the little guys is an important part of its initial success.
“Everywhere you look, you see communities coming together to help each other out to build great things,” says Rynly’s marketing coordinator Jonny Perez. “We’re building something pretty new and unique here. It’s an idea based in Portland, that is growing out of Portland.” That idea is a fresh take on shipping, which uses flat rates and crowd-sourced drivers to offer competitive delivery prices, especially for items below 25 pounds.
From law firms to car audio sellers, there isn’t really a pattern across the companies who have given Rynly a try early on. But, if there is one common thread, it’s how those businesses appreciated Rynly’s pitch and personal approach. Many of their clients were recruited during in-person visits or by word of mouth at small business mixers, leading to fruitful two-way relationships and rewarding feedback.
Yo Soy Candle makes handcrafted, eco-friendly affirmation candles that soothe the senses with fragrant essential oils. Founder Leslie Abrams heard about Rynly from a friend and decided to give the fellow Portland-based company a shot. “Rynly has provided a more affordable, personal and convenient way of picking up and shipping locally,” says Abrams. “Their customer service is fantastic and the drivers show up within two hours of creating a shipping label. They are open to growing and creating a more fluid system as well.”
Pete May is in charge of the warehouse at 3 Point Brand Management, which manufactures a wide array of branded merchandise, from coffee mugs to clothing. He reiterates the positive reviews, “They have been great to work with. I expected to experience some growing pains when we first started with them, but the entire process has been very smooth.”
Competing with established shipping giants is no easy task, but Rynly is carving out its share of the market through dependability. Frank Ryan, the production manager of Seattle area print shop Trade Printery welcomes the peace of mind, “While we do have in-house delivery capabilities, knowing that we have a service like Rynly to help us with overflow and unexpected deliveries has been a huge benefit, especially at the price-point they are currently offering.”
To date, Rynly hasn’t lost a single package, nor has it had any delayed deliveries. Its fleet is composed of both independent contractors and fulltime company drivers, and is prepared for crises. “We do have security measures in place,” says Perez. “If it ever got to the unlikely point where management had to step in and start delivering packages, then yes we would totally do that as well.” That trust and willingness to go the extra mile has created a solid foundation in the Pacific Northwest that will soon launch the next phase of development into California.
While the current infrastructure connects the metro areas of Portland and Seattle, the potential for a more expansive network in the Golden State is evident. With hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Rynly will also service surrounding cities such as Oakland and San Jose. Though distances will increase, the plan is to keep prices low and competitive.
The hope is that Rynly will be up and running sometime in the first half of 2019. There are still some technical hurdles in the way; for now, Rynly is Apple iOS only, but work is being done on an Android app. But the most crucial ingredient to continued success will be establishing familiar, trustworthy relationships and listening to what clients have to say. “It’s really exciting working with small businesses,” says Perez. “We’re a startup but we actually care about the people we’re servicing and providing the best service to our customers, period.”