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How Shyp Is Shaking Up the Process of Mailing Packages The San Francisco-based startup picks up unpackaged items from customers, boxes them and ships them through major carriers and the USPS.

By Matt Villano

This story appears in the January 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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In shipping, there are two important miles: the last one—dominated by the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS—and the first one, the messy process through which customers drop off their packages.

For years, the first mile was handled via drop-off boxes, brick-and-mortar outlets and prescheduled pickups. Now there's Shyp. The San Francisco-based company picks up unpackaged items (less than 50 pounds) directly from customers at their homes and businesses, boxes up the items at centralized packaging and shipping facilities and ships them through major carriers and the USPS.

Founder and CEO Kevin Gibbon explains that the model benefits everybody, since customers no longer have to worry about boxing up or dropping off their stuff, and shipping companies can pick up big loads without having to make hundreds of stops around a city.