Shiperoo: Born from visionaries who refuse to play by the old rules

Two of the logistics industry’s leading young lights are shaking up the 3PL and fulfilment game with a dynamic new tech-savvy fulfilment operation: Shiperoo. MHD caught up with the pair to learn more.

Behind every revolutionary company is a story of passion, vision, and the sheer will to change the game. Shiperoo’s tale begins with its brilliant co-founders, Nishan Wijemanne and Rizan Mawzoon.

This dynamic duo has been in the trenches of the supply chain world for over 15 years. Their previous venture, Cohesio Group, transformed Australia’s supply chain landscape, which they largely attest to their passion for disruption and theirpeople –who they referred to as their “dream team”. As atrailblazing, tech-first supply chain integrator, Cohesio Group pioneered the use of cutting-edge robotics of its kind in the region. Their work was so ground-breaking that German tech giant Körber took notice, leading to the acquisition of Cohesio Group in late 2019.

But for Nishan and Rizan, one success story was merely the prelude. Their insatiable entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with their deep industry insights, led them straight to the creation of a disruptive force in the traditional third-party logistics (3PL) industry.Leveraging cutting-edge AI-enabled software, robotic automation, and a star-studded advisory board of market leaders, the duo is set to revolutionise the way retailers manage their fulfilment operations, as well as solve an enormous industry challenge: the daunting realm of retail returns. Remember that shocking $428 billion worth of retail merchandise returned in the US reported by NRF during the thick of the 2020 pandemic? It’s not just a US issue; it also poses a multi-billion dollar challenge in both Australia and New Zealand. Australian retailers, despite their strides in the e-commerce landscape, still grapple with a glaring gap in their strategy: an efficient, cost-effective returns management system.

Enter Shiperoo. With theirwealth of experience, the founders saw beyond the challenge. They recognised the dire need for a solution that doesn’t just handle returns but truly understands the intricacies of each retailer: their product profile, operations, and their growth goals.

So, what’s Shiperoo’s offering that makes it stand out? A genius fusion of the two most sought-after needs of Australian retailers: a technology-driven fulfilment partner and an unparalleled returns management system, both with an end-to-end visibility ofthe distribution journey.

In a world where many are content with the status quo, Shiperoo, steered by Nishan and Rizan, is a testament to what’s possible with vision, expertise, and a relentless drive to innovate. For them, it’s not just about solving a problem—it’s about crafting the future of retail logistics.

MHD sat down with Nish and Riz, the dynamic duo driving the revolution in 3PL and Returns Management with their brainchild, Shiperoo. With over 15 years of experience in the supply chain technology sphere, these industry veterans shared their journey, dreams, and the powerful tech-driven solution they’ve unleashed upon the logistics world.

MHD: Tell is in a nutshell how the idea of Shiperoo came about?

Nish: We had our eyes set on disrupting the traditional third-party logistics (3PL) industry for quite some time. This interest was sheerly due to our experience in supply chain technology and having witnessed far too many operations in the 3PL spaceover the past 15-plus years. We also gained first-hand knowledge about how retailers prefer to be serviced by their 3PL partners, and many dreamt of a true fulfilment partner that could deliver true value and growth potential along with efficiency, speed and visibility. The turning point for us was when we realised that the 3PL industry at large lacked the creative approaches, modern-tech enablement, and visibility that retailers should have had the right to expect from their 3PL partners. This was just part one of the problem! Part two of the problem -Returns Management can only be described as a nightmare for most retailers as well as pureplay eCommerce players. There is simply not enough being done to help retailers avoid the sheer intricacies and deep rooted costs of managing returns. The prospect ofus using our knowledge and capabilities to solve both problems was far too exciting to sleep on. We had the drive and determination to go beyond what the industry refers to as 3PL, and become the home of a tech-first, people-led fulfilment and returns partner. We realised we were about to fulfil many dreams, literally!

This led us to form our dream team including our advisory board members who are worthy of Australia’s retail red carpet. John King, CEO of Myer, Glen Keast, COO of Cotton On Group, and PaulGreenberg, Online-Retail Entrepreneur and founder of NORA, all of whom have offered crucial advice, support and an unwavering belief in Shiperoo’s ethos.

Watch this space as Shiperoo unveilsits line-up of their dream team over the coming months, along with the big reveal of another pair of Shiperooers who boast an extraordinary resume in retail success. You can call them Shiperoo’s masked singers for now! We are very excited about Shiperoo’s powerful proposition as we are set to invest over $AUD 30 million in cutting-edge, AI-enabled software and robotic automation across a national and trans-Tasman footprint. Some of our foundation customers have already jumped on board as Shiperoo’s early adopters in our pre-launch stage.

MHD:  What is the technology combo that underpins Shiperoo?

Riz: As the e-commerce industry continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, delivering products swiftly and efficiently is paramount. Retailers, whether multichannel or pure-play, need a robust and cost-effective end-to-end fulfillment solution to meet customer demands.

Traditional 3PL providers have struggled to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape, often falling short in terms of speed, cost, and flexibility. Shiperoo recognises these pain points and has developed an innovative solution that combines technology, automation, and industry expertise for a seamless multichannel fulfilment experience.

At the heart of Shiperoo’s offering is our state-of-the-art AI-enabled software, driven by advanced algorithms and machine learning to optimise every step of the fulfilment process. This powerful technology not only streamlines inventory management and order processing but also provides real-time data analysis for smarter decision-making. Shiperoo’s differentiator is our innovative robotic automation and cutting-edge software. It automates key fulfilment tasks like picking and packing, reducing errors, and significantly enhancing the speed and accuracy of order processing. We have created an advanced automation system to process and dispatch orders in record time, delighting customers and minimising delays.

MHD:  How does Shiperoo tackle the impact of returns for eCommerce and Retail?

Riz: The retail landscape has experienced a monumental shift in recent years, driven by e-commerce’s rapid growth and the convenience it offers consumers. However, this convenience comes at a cost, and that cost is the surge in product returns. According to recent statistics, return rates for e-commerce purchases can be as high as 40 per cent, compared to just 8 to 15 perc cent for in-store purchases. With the global e-commerce market projected to continue its expansion, it’s clear that returns are becoming a major challenge for retailers worldwide.

Shiperoo leverages its team’sexpertise in distribution-centre operations and technology to optimise returns processing seamlessly. This is a game-changer for retailers seeking to mitigate the impact of their returns. We understand the intricacies of distribution centre’s operations all too well, havingspent decades in workflow optimisation and the application of tech. So, we can seamlessly integrate returns processing into our existing workflows, reducing disruptions and bottlenecks. We have made lucrative investments into technology to drive our returns management service.

Shiperoo’s tech stack is a vital combination of our very own intuitive returns-management software, advanced sorting systems, vision systems and automation. Retailers and pure-plays will be empowered with end-to-end visibility and forward planning ability from the supplier through to returns and beyond. We call this a returns-management experience beyond your wildest dreams!

Our returns process is designed to be an end-to-end solution. At the consumer’s end, we will solve their logistical nightmare of sending back returned items while for the retailer, we will categorise returned items, perform rapid quality assessment and decision-making regarding restocking, refurbishing, or recycling. For our customers, we will also provide accurate tracking and real-time visibility on returned products as well as perform enhanced inventory management to reduce the likelihood of overstock or understock situations. The end result is a “white-glove” returns-management experience. Our fulfilment partners (our customers) can say goodbye to the operational burdens of managing returns as well as recover value from returned items, minimising the overall impact of returns on their bottom line.

MHD:  What dreams will be fulfilled at Shiperoo?

Nish: Our previous entrepreneurial pursuits and successes would mean nothing without the great team that we carefully crafted. Creating a dream team has always been at the heart of our business values, and this time is no different to the last. The dream team is already here and it’s growing! Shiperoo is where dreams are fulfilled, and we take this seriously!

We are fulfilling the dreams of our customers by offering them a partnership that they could only dream of! This means, we are also playing an active role in fulfilling the dreams of their respective customers, be it consumers or stores, awaiting the shipment of their beloved purchases or store replenishments. A wait of three to five days in this market is simply unacceptable; Shiperoo’s model allows next-day, ready-to-ship processes.We’re fulfilling the professional dreams of our own team by providing them the best place to work, empowering them with technology to make their workflows productive and enriching them with new knowledge and skills to grow their careers.

As founders, we dream of playing by new rules, solving the demands of next-day delivery and the pressure placed on retailers to fulfil at top speed yet grow at the same time. During one of our recent European educational tours we took the opportunity to learn first-hand from global leaders exactly how they were dealing with the grappling costs of returns. We sipped on single malts and dreamt of being the leaders in end-to-end returns management solution providers in Australia, and making a true impact on circular economy.

We also dreamt of being the ones to be a true, tech-first fulfilment partner. At Shiperoo we are a Fulfilment Partner rather than a 3PL, we are breaking the stigma of traditional 3PL –and becoming a true extension of our customers’ broader strategic plan. We are here to create partnerships that will grow and scale, and we dream of making a true impact on Australian logistics and retail landscape -once again!

Shiperoo is where dreams are fulfilled –powered by tech and led by people.