Today, on-demand shipping startup Shyp is officially launching in Miami, making it the second best thing in the state of Florida after the Disney theme parks.
As promised, the service has arrived in time for Art Basel, the annual art show that draws 70,000 visitors to Miami and Miami Beach each year.
In addition to the expected rollout in the one part of the Sunshine State that appeals to those under the age of 55 without children, Shyp is also announcing that it will launch in Los Angeles in early 2015.The Tinseltown launch is a return to the West Coast after a few months spent focusing on the New York and Miami markets.
As Shyp CEO Kevin Gibbon told TechCrunch back in September, the two most important factors for Shyp’s expansion have been “growing an early work force and finding practical warehouses.” As such, I’m curious to see how Shyp changes up its ratio of bike-based couriers to van drivers who collect packages to be routed to the carriers who distribute goods to their final recipients.
After only a few weeks in New York, Shyp found that it could increase the number of bike-based “Heroes” in order to improve coverage in Manhattan. Los Angeles is a different beast — my first day with a car in the City of Angels in 2012, I drove 12 miles in 2 hours. Businesses (which seem to be Shyp’s target market) are spread out by miles of freeway, but the traffic is so bad that it might as well be the dense chaos of a city like New York.
Are bike couriers — even with assistance from vans with wider coverage areas — going to be as productive in Los Angeles’s slow roadways? Only time will tell. Unlike most services that roll out city-by-city, I’m probably going to try it out in Los Angeles post-launch just to see if there’s a noticeable difference, as I think that will be a telling detail as the service moves beyond dense city areas.