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By Elise Craig

Shipwire CEO Damon Schechter started his company with a simple goal: “To help small businesses take on the efficiencies that big businesses have.”

He cofounded the Palo Alto-based order fulfillment services operation with chief technology officer Evan Robinson at the end of 2006, but to get there, he had to wait until the timing was right.

Schechter had been in the tech and shipping world since the 90s, but took a break after the dotcom crash of the early 2000s to write a book on logistics. An interview with Costco’s head of logistic helped him figure out what he should do next: Find a way to give smaller companies the same logistical efficiencies

But at the time, the market wasn’t ready yet.

Back in the early 2000s, consumers as a whole were just not accustomed to doing a lot of online shopping. By 2006, that had changed. Shipwire built a platform that would work with merchants’ sales software, set up warehouses internationally, and began to ship products on behalf of businesses.

The main idea was to make it possible for small companies to have a third party store and ship their wares so they didn’t have to take on the enormous job themselves. Tiny companies trying to ship a large volume of orders can only answer their own phones and lick their own stamps for so long, and outsourcing locally has its limitations, Schechter says.

“There’s a whole tech world that you can’t really handle yourself or locally with local help. You need a bigger partner. But the problem is the big, big partners are helping the Target and the Walmart. Who helps the little guy? We fill that void.”

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