Say Anything: Jose Li, Founder & CEO
Tell us about yourself in 140 characters.
Industrial Engineer -> Corp. America -> Entrepreneur. Mix of creative with (trying) to get things done. Ambivert, situational extrovert.
You’ve played both roles—the shipper and the carrier. What lessons did you bring from your time at FedEx to 71lbs?
Many lessons, but two in particular that we keep hearing until today:
1. All companies, from the large enterprise to the small business owner, want to save money on shipping costs. For most companies, shipping costs is the 2nd or 3rd line item expense (behind payroll and COGS). In e-commerce, shipping costs represent ~10% (and sometimes more) of a merchant’s revenues. Companies are (and should be) always looking for ways to reduce or maintain shipping costs.
2. Still surprised that even in 2019, most don’t really understand their shipping costs. Partly because it is very difficult to understand - and the carriers do a very good job of not making it simple -, but also because shipping has so many variables, i.e. distance, weight, surcharges, fees, miscellaneous, and many others.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
Seeing customer’s reactions to what we do. ” Wow, I had no idea! I’ve been doing this for 20+ years and didn’t know about this! Really?!?!?”
Tell us the most surprising thing you’ve learned about shipping.
Kind of surprising, but kinda not. Everything is negotiable. Carriers would go out of their way to get new business, or keep current ones, and at the same time make out of the blue concessions or discounts that make you think twice (or three times).
Let’s switch gears. You’re on a desert island; what three things would you have with you and why.
A knife and a fishing pole, for eating/survival purposes. And unlimited supply of ice cream, because, it’s ice cream.
Pick a superpower, any superpower.
Superhuman healing. The older I get, the more I realize just how much that would come in handy.
Last question: If you could impart one piece of wisdom when it comes to shipping, what would it be?
I used to say life is full of trade-offs. In this case, shipping is full of trade-offs. Not one carrier is perfect. Choosing one service comes with the trade-off of lower (or higher) cost, and
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