International shipping is complex, but it opens the door to billions of new customers. Guy Gemmill, president and co-founder of APC Postal Logistics, joins Lori on this episode of Unboxing Logistics to explain how consolidators simplify cross-border shipping.
Guy explains that shipping consolidators “receive shipments from various merchants in the U.S. on a daily basis, [then] consolidate those shipments into drop areas overseas and into Canada.”
The advantage of this system? “Because the economies of scale are better, the cost is going to be lower.” Merchants can save up to 60% on international shipping by taking advantage of a consolidator’s bulk discounts.
The consolidated vs. expedited choice comes down to individual preference. Guy says, “[Some] consumers want products within a certain timeframe, and others are going to be shopping based on the cost and shipping rate.” When cost is the main concern, consolidated shipping is the way to go. When time matters most, expedited is the better option.
Is international shipping worth it for your company? According to Guy, you should turn to data to answer that question. “Understand what your website traffic is. Are international consumers hitting your website? Are they looking at your products? How long are they spending on your website?” If you have enough international traffic, it may be time to start tapping into that new market.
Lori Boyer 00:00
Welcome to Unboxing Logistics, the podcast from EasyPost where we dive into everything related to the logistics industry. I'm Lori Boyer, and I'm your host, and I am really excited today because we are gonna be talking about a really cool topic. Consolidated shipping. This is something that's been around for a long time, but is becoming more and more important as we've been seeing, you know, different shifts in the industry, big increase in international shipping, some of those things.
So stick around. You're gonna be excited to learn all about how you can take advantage of consolidated shipping, when it might not be for you and all of that good stuff. So, because we wanted to talk about consolidated shipping today, I invited an expert on this topic, Guy Gemmill. Say hello, Guy. Welcome.
Guy Gemmill 00:51
Lori Boyer 00:52
Guy, why don't you introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about who you are and, and why you know a little bit about consolidated shipping.
Guy Gemmill 00:57
Sure. My name's Guy Gemmill and I know a little bit about consolidated shipping. I started in the business in 1996. So I started out in sales and was in the Maryland DC Virginia office going and meeting with associations, nonprofits, printers, and letter shops to handle their international delivery of their mail subscribers or solicitations, people that they were looking to bring on in the worldwide market. And it was, it's a great industry. It's something that at that point was relatively new. And it has grown ever since.
So I worked for a small company and in 2001, myself and three other gentlemen left and we co-founded what is today APC Postal Logistics. So we are in what the industry has termed a consolidator. That wasn't our name. I honestly think that the technology folks branded us that name, but it does have significant meaning.
So, you know, we have been in this business and working with merchants and customers to simplify international delivery for over two decades. As a matter of fact, on October 19th, we're celebrating our 22nd birthday.
Lori Boyer 02:17
Oh, that's amazing.
Guy Gemmill 02:18
Lori Boyer 02:18
Guy Gemmill 02:20
Yes. Thank you.
Lori Boyer 02:20
What's your title there at APC?
Guy Gemmill 02:22
I am the co-founder and president.
Lori Boyer 02:24
Guy Gemmill 02:25
Yeah. Yes, but I mostly head up the sales department.
Lori Boyer 02:29
Oh, love it.
Guy Gemmill 02:29
Myself, my sales director, we are in charge of satisfying customers and going out and talking to prospective customers and growing the business.
Lori Boyer 02:38
Love it. So Guy spends all his time basically doing just what we're talking about so he knows he's, he's got the answer.
I actually asked for a few questions from some of my, our community out there, so I'm gonna throw those on later and we can get those answered. But before we get started, I love to get to know the people in the industry a little bit better. Sometimes we just get the business side and I like to have a little fun.
So we're gonna play this or that. I'm gonna give you two options. Tell me which you prefer. Okay? Number one, would you rather be feared by everyone? Or loved by everyone?
Guy Gemmill 03:16
Loved by everyone.
Lori Boyer 03:18
Yes. You said feared that might be a little …
Guy Gemmill 03:19
That was a layup.
Lori Boyer 03:20
Exactly. Would you rather lose your passport or your smartphone?
Guy Gemmill 03:25
Lori Boyer 03:26
Okay. Are you not a big traveler?
Guy Gemmill 03:29
I am a traveler domestically.
Lori Boyer 03:31
Okay. Yes. You like to stick close to home. He, he was, Guy was telling me earlier, he's from Maryland. But he's been right in that area again. Maryland peeps, hi. So he, he's a homebody. He likes, likes sticking close to home. Good. Now. If you were visiting another country, I'm guessing you'd rather lose your smartphone than your …
Guy Gemmill 03:50
I'd rather lose my smartphone.
Lori Boyer 03:51
Because you gotta get home. Okay. Do you like the smell better of onions or garlic?
Guy Gemmill 03:57
Lori Boyer 03:59
Onions. I love green onions. Is that a weird thing? I really love green onions.
Guy Gemmill 04:04
It's not weird. My wife loves green onions too. I'm not a fan, but she is, and it's a preference for sure.
Lori Boyer 04:10
Oh, good, good. Green onions lovers out there. We, we we'll unite one of these days. Okay. Would you rather have more money or more time?
Guy Gemmill 04:18
Mm, that's a good one. More money.
Lori Boyer 04:23
More money. Okay. Why would it give you more time?
Guy Gemmill 04:26
Lori Boyer 04:27
That's what I would think, too. Having more time won't give you more money. Well, I guess it could.
Guy Gemmill 04:32
Oh, it could, it could, you could have more time to get more money.
Lori Boyer 04:35
We should have more time and more money. That sounds great. That would be the best. Awesome. Okay. Would you rather be more intelligent than you are now or more athletic than you are now?
Guy Gemmill 04:47
At this age? More intelligent.
Lori Boyer 04:49
Yeah. Guy went golfing with some guys here and slayed on the course I've heard so, yeah, he's already hit the peak of athleticism.
Guy Gemmill 04:59
There's, there was some good and there was some bad, but yes, it was great.
Lori Boyer 05:03
Okay. Are you saying you, would you think that you are more of a logic guy or an emotion guy?
Guy Gemmill 05:09
Lori Boyer 05:10
Logic. Yeah. Okay. This is the last question we're gonna do. Would you rather have 10 kids, or no kids?
Guy Gemmill 05:19
Lori Boyer 05:20
Oh, yay. I have seven, Guy, in real life, so I'm almost there. It was, this was a test. I was gonna kick you out. So 10. You like kids? Yes. And do you have kids?
Guy Gemmill 05:32
I do. I have three daughters.
Lori Boyer 05:33
Oh, three girls. That's the best. It's awesome. So you love kids. That's great. I should, you know, with seven kids, it's good. I'm in the logistics industry because there's a lot of movement going, there's a lot.
Guy Gemmill 05:47
There's a lot of logistics going on.
Lori Boyer 05:48
That's a terrible joke. I'm sorry.
Guy Gemmill 05:50
Yes. How many girls? How many boys?
Lori Boyer 05:52
I have four daughters and three sons.
Guy Gemmill 05:54
Is the oldest a boy or a girl?
Lori Boyer 05:56
The oldest is a boy, and my youngest is a boy, and the middle is a boy. So the girls are kind of there. The girls are super close and, and the boys are a little spread out. Super fun. I love having the big kids, so, okay.
Enough about us. Guy, you seem like a, a pretty … You passed the test. So we're gonna move on to the next section and we're gonna talk about consolidated shipping. So first of all, some of our community, our audience may not know that much about consolidated shipping. Some of you guys are experts on it. But give us a little bit of background.
What is exactly consolidated shipping?
Guy Gemmill 06:33
Consolidated shipping is, we are. It's receiving shipments from, from various merchants in the US on a daily basis. Consolidating those shipments into drop areas overseas and into Canada. So you're going to bring in thousands of parcels from hundreds of customers a day per your location or per the, per the consolidator's location.
And when you bring that in, you are, you are separating that into various regions and countries and you are boarding those skids containers of material and you're flying it to the closest proximity or the country of destination.
Lori Boyer 07:09
Okay. So if I've got a, a retail business and I'm shipping ribbons, apparently that's what I'm gonna ship. And somebody else is shipping and we're both wanting to ship to Denmark. You would take their packages and my packages and a bunch of other people's packages, right, and put it in one thing. Why?
Guy Gemmill 07:28
You containerize it and put it into, into one shipment because the economies of scale are better, the cost is gonna be lower.
So you, you know, you are bulk you're processing and you're bulking the material, taking it to the airport. Bulking the freight, and then when it lands, you're bulking into the Denmark Post Office, and that's going to allow cost along that whole entire process to be reduced. But I. I mean, it's not only the consolidated shipping, which is giving you the volume discounts, it's also in comparison to expediters. FedEx, UPS, we are using the final mile delivery carrier is going to be a post office, or it's going to be a local carrier.
Lori Boyer 08:15
Okay, so our shipment has arrived in Denmark. So walk me through this. The then a local, so it, it arrives at a consolidation statement place there? And then they, you will then work with a local carrier?
Somebody there and they will do the final delivery to the customer?
Guy Gemmill 08:31
Lori Boyer 08:32
Okay. So is it best used in an international scenario? Are, is there domestic consolidated shipping or is it typically more advantageous internationally?
Guy Gemmill 08:45
Domestics and international consolidated is essentially the same thing.
So, you know, you are, you are working off bulk shipments and you are zone skipping, per se, in the United States. Or country skipping, you know, internationally and that's gonna get you to the closest point to drop and deliver locally.
You know, the advantage to merchants is that you are going to be able to receive the discounts from that bulk, from that travel, those logistics, and then you're also going to get to the closest proximity, which is gonna give you the best postage rate.
Lori Boyer 09:16
Okay. So the biggest advantages, and maybe I should ask you to walk through maybe, what are all the advantages?
First one off the bat obviously is gonna be the spend. You know, especially I'm guessing if you're, you know, not a giant person who's getting these amazing deals that you can tap into that, right? So I guess my question then is what are the other advantages? Are there other advantages as well beyond price?
Guy Gemmill 09:43
The reliability of consolidated shipping has come a long way. It's a very reliable service. And in addition to that, there are the regulations and customs configurations that vary for each individual country. A consolidator knows what these rules and regulations are. They know what the, they know what customs wants to see.
They know what customs does not want to see. So in meeting and consulting with your merchant, you're gonna be able to boil all this down into one simple explanation of how that does. So you're going to, your material is going to safely and be compliant and travel from the US to the destination.
Just simplifying all those mysteries. And it's, it's, there's, there are no mysteries. It is complex.
Lori Boyer 10:32
There's some complications. I've got my ribbon business. You know, that I made up and I, I might not know much about customs. You know, I know a lot about ribbons. So, but so what you're saying is then when you use a consolidated carrier that, that would, they would help me understand the customs. Okay. So how many ribbons should I be shipping out for this to like, make sense? Like, is it, you can be really small, you should be hitting, you know, for, for it to make sense, I guess financially or whatever.
Guy Gemmill 11:01
The volume that you have on a per day or per week basis is up to the consolidator and the limitations or the minimum requirements. And there are some for some companies.
Lori Boyer 11:09
So, you know, we've got my ribbon business. What, what kind of volume I've started. Let's pretend I've started to have people reaching out and, and they're in Denmark. We, we've got ribbons in Denmark today. That's what we've got.
And they're like, Hey, we love these ribbons here. I mean, these are the best. And so I'm thinking about expanding. Is there a point where it makes sense? Is, should I need to be shipping a certain amount before I use a consolidator? How does that work?
Guy Gemmill 11:34
The volume, in order to receive the discounts and in order to receive the expertise and the setup for the delivery flow you do not need that much volume.
So every consolidator has its minimum requirements, but working with those consolidators and talking to your consolidators, explaining what you have now and where you want to grow is, is advantageous for everyone. But you know, you can start out with four or five packages per day with a nice growth plan, and you're still going to receive a great reliable delivery, and you're still gonna receive a post cost that's going to enable you to sell more products.
Lori Boyer 12:09
That's interesting. I had, I, I didn't realize it would be that small.
Guy Gemmill 12:13
Yeah, it can, it can be that small. Again, it depends on the consolidator. But yeah, the discounts are available for small shippers as well.
Lori Boyer 12:19
So this really brings me into the actual questions. I reached out to some of our community, our audience, and asked them, what do you wanna know about consolidated shipping? What concerns do you have? And so I'm just gonna shoot these at you. And if I do get a ribbon business someday.
Guy Gemmill 12:36
I'm your guy.
Lori Boyer 12:37
That's right. That's right. Okay. How much would I expect to save if I was gonna choose consolidated shipping over other international shipping?
Guy Gemmill 12:48
So there's, the way I, I would break it down here is, is you have expeditors, again, FedEx, UPS, and then you have the USPS as well. So, you know, your volume does dictate the discounts.
However, you know. Off of Expeditors, you could look to save anywhere from, you know, 20 to even 60, 65% depending on what your discounts are. And the USPS savings are there as well. The USPS has a phenomenal international service, but the volume discounts that we are enabled to receive is anywhere from a five to a 25% reduction.
Lori Boyer 13:27
Wow. That's big. So. is it? One of the questions that I had asked was, is it okay to use a consolidator for your, like overseas shipping and then continue to use other carriers and other shippers domestically? Can it be part of a multi-carrier kind of approach?
Guy Gemmill 13:43
It is a multi-carrier approach.
Right. Okay. I mean, we specialize in international, so we're with merchants all over the US that have you know, domestic contracts and work with domestic carriers and APC is added as the international carrier. So it's, it's separated as they process throughout the day.
Lori Boyer 14:01
Okay. So just because you're wanting to try this doesn't mean that, you know, you can't use other carriers.
That's great. What are typical transit times for consolidated shipping? Is this gonna be a lot longer when you're doing consolidated shipping than other methods? Or, and if it is, what, what kind of time should they expect?
Guy Gemmill 14:20
It's, it's a four to nine-day service. There are slower services available, but for today's ecommerce consumers probably don't wanna go outside of that window.
Yeah, right. That makes sense. So the transit is slower than an expeditor. And it does have its reasons for that and it's, you know, we are, the consolidated service is not there to replace the expedited service. It's to work alongside the expedited service. Consumers are going to want certain products, you know, within a certain timeframe, and other consumers are going to be shopping based on, you know, cost and, you know, the shipping rate.
Lori Boyer 15:00
And I think consumers realize when they're shipping internationally, it's, it's not gonna be there this afternoon. And so there is some of that understanding. It's a little different. We talk a lot about customer expectations. You guys know but in terms of international, there is a little bit of leeway. We're still given a little bit.
Guy Gemmill 15:17
International consumers are, have been purchasing American goods forever. And, you know, that's the case. And so the expectations are there. They, you know, they're increasing, they, you know, they want products faster and the ability to get to those products delivered to them is getting faster and the technology's getting better.
Lori Boyer 15:34
And, and it'll continue to do that. Okay. So the next question was how often, can you consolidate shipments? Is there like a set timeframe? Do you set up a, a contract on how much you'll do each day? How does that work?
Guy Gemmill 15:47
We consolidate every day. So we consolidate and export every day. We board flights out of our three facilities and truck into Canada on a daily basis.
Lori Boyer 15:56
So daily you can do daily. Great. Is there like a minimum or maximum kind of weight or volume or something to be eligible? Are, are my little ribbons gonna be so small that you can't do it?
Guy Gemmill 16:11
They're not, they're not.
I mean, there's simple limitations and that's below 66 pounds and $2,500 of product value. So that's where you are kind of maxing out. And expeditors are coming in and they're, they're handling above that.
Lori Boyer 16:25
Okay. What if it's really large? You know? I got the best pianos. You know, are, is that a problem or we're going to, you're like, put it on a ship. What are you doing? This can't go on an airplane.
Guy Gemmill 16:37
That's, that is not in our wheelhouse.
Lori Boyer 16:38
Okay. So for our, our giant tire people out there, this might not be for you.
Guy Gemmill 16:44
And that's, that's a, that's a good point. So, you know, car parts, we're not gonna ship the axle, we're not gonna ship, you know, a frame. We're not gonna ship tires, but we could ship smaller parts.
Lori Boyer 16:54
Smaller parts. Okay. Perfect. Mm-Hmm. What about tracking? So I know that some people feel nervous, like, okay, I've sent it there and now it, it made friends with all these other companies shipments and they're all consolidated.
Can they track their consolidated shipping? Will they know where it is? Are those options?
Guy Gemmill 17:13
They will, they will know where it is. Tracking is available. And depending on the service level, there's tracking door to door or there's tracking that just ends as you, as you depart the country. But it's great and it, and it has come a long way. I mean, we were ...
Lori Boyer 17:27
Feeling like you sent your precious cargo away. It's like sending your child away to college and like, what is it doing?
Guy Gemmill 17:33
It is, it is for sure. And it's a big responsibility. But, you know, we were, we were, again, we were sending mail, so we were sending, you know, magazines, newsletters, direct mail, that type of stuff.
And, and we still are today. And there began to be whispers overseas of international postal carriers carrying scanners. So we, we quickly started to do our research because, you know, we knew that this is where the business was going. I mean, we'd started to feel some declines and some headwinds in the mail industry and, you know, we were looking for our next best thing and it just, it seemed like a natural progression to be delivering parcels using our, our postal carriers and our network that we had had for years and years.
So. You know, that's where it started. You know, we had to build a backend to accept data from customers and to push and pull data from international vendors. And we had it all set up and, and it was, and it was running well in the beginning. But you know, there was, there was things like, you know, the postal carrier would forget to take their scanner.
Lori Boyer 18:44
There's human errors still happening. People, processes, technology. They all have their problems sometimes.
Guy Gemmill 18:50
Yes, yes. But you know, here we are today. I mean, you know that type of stuff just doesn't happen. And the technology and the integrations worldwide they take a while and there's a lot of testing and there's a lot of back and forth and a lot of, a lot of IT language that's different. But you know, once you get there, pretty substantial benefits for the consumer.
Lori Boyer 19:10
Okay. That's awesome. So speaking of that network, speaking of you know, when it gets there. So my ribbons, let's say they made friends with some computer parts and they were all consolidated. How, how are they deconsolidated? What happens when they arrive in the other place?
Guy Gemmill 19:25
Good question. So the consolidation is, is is at the airport. It is trucked to the local post office or local carrier who's going to do that final mile delivery, and it's already sorted out. We've already done that work. So when they receive it, they're gonna maybe break it down further into their flow, but, you know, there's not much work to be done on their end that we've done that work and that's part of the discount.
Lori Boyer 19:51
Good. Perfect. So it's already taken care of. It's just as if the package arrived in any other way. Somebody had asked, are there any sort of special packaging requirements that they would need to deal with before they send the package to you to be consolidated?
Guy Gemmill 20:04
That's a great question. All the packaging that we receive right now is, is, is great. So, you know, your T-shirts are in bags and, you know, your, your, your, your larger products are in boxes. I would say it's important to make sure that your box is in the smallest dimensions that it could possibly be to fit the prod, to fit the product.
Lori Boyer 20:24
I think Guy, we've all gotten the package of the little thing in the giant box and you're like, what in the world? So, let's not do that you guys.
Guy Gemmill 20:31
Yes. So that's, that's an important part.
Lori Boyer 20:33
Awesome. But besides that, not really any special packaging requirements. Okay. What about duties, taxes, and customs?
You mentioned that earlier, and that is one of our questions. Are you gonna handle that? Is that included in the fee for doing the consolidated?
Guy Gemmill 20:49
It's really up to the merchant and it's really up to the merchant and what type of experience they want their consumer to have. So there's delivery duty, unpaid, or DDU. And that means that when the package is delivered, an agent or the delivery agent or the delivery person of some sort is going to leave a notice or communicate with the person they're delivering the package to. There are duties and taxes due, you know? We'll take your fee right now and then we'll pass you your package, and if you're not home, you will go down to a local area to pick up the package and pay the fees.
Delivery duty paid means that it's been paid on the upfront and there is no collection. It goes straight to the door and it can be dropped. Okay. So those are the two ways to go about it. And again. Do you, how are you selling your product? Do you just want a low price at the shopping cart, or do you want an all-in price at the shopping cart? And then there's, there's, there's layers to that. And, you know. Today when people are migrating more and more towards DDP, because of the consumer experience is so much better, there is technology that can calculate those duties and taxes at checkout.
And then there's advisement that a consolidator can give to the merchant that's gonna help them make sure that the appropriate cost is is included. It can be a little, can be a little dicey, you know? Because, because it does vary from country to country pretty substantially.
So, you know, it's up to the mix, it's up to the product value to come up with, with a pretty accurate advisement. But again, the technology's gonna make it more accurate.
Lori Boyer 22:20
So what it kind of sounds like to me is that, you know, there's some differences in the way it's handled, but people, shippers, we can reach out to you or as anyone you're using for consolidated shipping and, and we would get the advice on that from them.
Guy Gemmill 22:37
Right. You would get the guidance for sure.
Lori Boyer 22:38
Yeah. That totally makes sense. What about insurance? Are there insurance options, typically if you're doing consolidated shipping?
Guy Gemmill 22:46
There are insurance options and some consolidators require that insurance be included and that it's included in the rate. And other consolidators give the merchant the option.
Lori Boyer 22:55
All right, cool. Because, you know, I, I guess that's, brings my next question if something does get damaged, and this was one that somebody had sent. Let's see, if it's damaged or lost during the full process, you know, how does that work? And I guess let's talk about insurance versus non-insurance then.
Guy Gemmill 23:13
Right. So insurance, if it's, if it's lost or damaged, you know, it's from export to 45 days if there's no delivery confirmation for the package. A, you know, you would send in the tracking number, the information, et cetera. In the case where something was damaged, there would be photos, tracking number information, and that's submitted to the insurance company and then they provide product value back or product plus shipping. It depends on what type of insurance you buy up.
Lori Boyer 23:43
Do you feel like with consolidated shipping that there is any sort of increase in the, in the amount of product that would be lost or damaged or anything? Or is it pretty similar to what you'd experienced just with any shipping?
Guy Gemmill 23:56
It's gonna be different than it is domestic. I mean, it's going overseas, it's, it's traveling a good way. So, you know, the percentage that something's going to get lost or damaged is, is, is higher than domestic. But in consolidated shipping, I, you know, I was looking up some statistics.
I think, you know. The expeditors, it might be somewhere around 98% and our numbers are somewhere around 96 and a half, so.
Lori Boyer 24:22
Okay. So not that big of a difference between just shipping directly through an expeditor. Okay. What about. Let's see. They asked, could I choose a preferred delivery date when you do consolidated shipping, is it a window? How does that work?
Guy Gemmill 24:40
Into some countries you can get, you can, you could get pretty close to a date, but it is a transit window, and that is your safest bet.
Lori Boyer 24:48
I think that that makes sense. You know, is there a time cutoff for, so let's say you wanted to ship something. You know, how soon in advance do you have to ask for it? Like, I wanted this to ship tomorrow, or I need this to ship next week. Is there a cutoff date for when they have to submit things?
Guy Gemmill 25:03
Yes, there is, and it all depends on when they want that to be delivered into the delivery window. But if you're, if, if you're building an SLA or something to put a description on your website in terms of delivery, you know, most of this is gonna be, you know, three to seven, four to nine days. And those are business days. So you want to tack on your processing time, your first mile. And then 24 hours to 48 hours, depending on what the consolidator promises and their processing, plus the transit time.
Lori Boyer 25:34
Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. So what if I am wanting, so I was shipping to Denmark, I got my ribbons, and I also wanna ship to Barcelona. Are those like two separate things that I've set up with you, like, oh, I've got Barcelona consolidated and Denmark, or can I send my goods and say, I've got multiple locations I want 'em to go to?
Guy Gemmill 25:52
Good question. The merchant doesn't have to do anything. They, you just put 'em on a skid or put 'em in a box or a container. The data that pushes that evening from the software provider, EasyPost, is going to be absorbed by our system. We're gonna receive those packages, and when we scan those packages, it's going to apply another label and we're gonna know exactly where it does. So there's no work, there's no sorting on the merchant.
Lori Boyer 26:15
So you don't have to figure that out. What if you're sending to like kind of a random place that, you know, I assume people are flying in and outta London all the time. But if you're wanting to ship to, I don't know, some really small, random place in outer Mongolia. Can you still do that? Is there a list of locations you're allowed to ship to? How does that work?
Guy Gemmill 26:34
There's a list of locations, yes. That, that, that you cannot ship to. But you know, I think that list is, is getting smaller and smaller. It's around 190, I think, open countries to deliver to today. You know, so the, you know, outskirts of Mongolia, it, it's, it's not a problem.
Lori Boyer 26:52
Okay. So you could potentially even, I would guess ship to the closest location and then from there figure out a way to get it to your locale. That's, that's cool. I'm hoping the ribbons will take off in outer Mongolia.
That's that's that's my, my guess. Okay. What about time-sensitive or perishable type items. So we talked about maybe really heavy things are not good for consolidated. What about these kind of objects?
Guy Gemmill 27:19
Not perishable items. That's, it's, it's not something we're going to ship. Consolidators are, you know, that's, that's for an expeditor. Hazmat, mostly for an expediter. Okay. And high-value goods, expediter.
Lori Boyer 27:32
Yep. Okay. So we've got really large, heavy items are not good. You just listed them all, the high-value goods, perishables, hazmat, and hazmat.
Those are not, anything else that people should be like, okay, consolidated is not the right method?
Guy Gemmill 27:48
Lori Boyer 27:49
Okay. Those are most of the questions that I got submitted from our community out there that I covered. Anything else that you'd like to share in terms of where you see the consolidation industry going?
Is this something that's picking up steam? Is this something that we expect to grow? What are your predictions for the future in consolidation?
Guy Gemmill 28:08
The predictions for the future. It is bright and it's great, and I'm happy that we are where we are. You know, it was, it was a lucky career choice back then, although, you know, along the way it didn't, didn't seem like it, but yeah.
You know, we're in a good spot. I mean, I. There's 300 plus million in the US and there's billions and billions and billions of customers outside of the US. So it's not a market that's going to be ignored. And you know, I think a lot of merchants have saturated, you know, their products in the US and coming out with new products, so, you know, more sales, but, but the large market and the available and the availability for growth is, is really outside.
And it really, I don't see how it can exist without a consolidator model. I really don't. Yeah. And part of that is, you know, I've, you know, I've, I've talked about the price point, and that is important for the merchant. It's important for the consumer, but consolidators are, are smaller businesses and, and you know, we're fairly new and our technology is fairly new, and that enables us to provide flexibility and customizations for various customers.
So whether you're educating somebody who's just entering the market or whether you're looking at somebody who has a ton of experience, the expertise is there and the flexibility to help businesses out is. Is the opportunity is, is there, you know, navigating again, like I said, yeah, it's not a mystery, but it is very, very complex and those complexities.
We handle every day. Yes. So we, we have seen it all. We've seen the pitfall, we've seen the pitfalls, and we've, we've seen things that work. So it's about taking those complexities, pushing them aside, and just delivering a clean solution to a merchant that's gonna help them grow.
Lori Boyer 30:06
Yeah. I love it. So when we talk about APC specifically, where do you see your future? What, what kind of, do we get any little insights into what goals you guys have moving forward? Insider info. We got the founder here. Come on.
Guy Gemmill 30:19
Yes. I mean. We've been making improvements for over two decades and doing things that are gonna help our merchants and our cons and their consumers receive packages reliably.
And with great technology. But we have been stepping up our game. We have hired a new VP of technology who's from the ecommerce world, just in a different part of it, and has a love that. Big giant bucket of ideas that we are, that we are eager to implement. We've hired a new sales ops and marketing person to help us get our, our brand out there and our name.
It's something that we haven't really invested time and energy in, and it's very, very important. We've spent a lot of time on our delivery network and we have a new phenomenal sales director that is, that is dedicated to the vision and dedicated to her team. bUt as far as what we're doing internally and to the network, we are installing the latest and greatest parcel sorting machines, and that's gonna help in processing, processing quicker, processing more accurately.
And our delivery network overseas is expanding. We're adding more DDP countries and we are also reducing some of the, some of the points or some of the entry points into the foreign markets so that parcels can get delivered faster. At the end of the day, you know, it is what it is today. It's, you know, four to nine days, but, you know, international consumers are gonna start demanding products faster and that's just the way it's going to be.
So, you know, we are, we have been gearing up and we will continue to gear up for that growth.
Lori Boyer 31:57
I love that. I speak with experts like you all the time, and I've heard in multiple other podcasts, people, processes, technology. That's where you need to invest. And that's exactly what you guys are doing.
So all of you out there who have heard my guests recommend that, super impressed. People, processes and technology. That's gonna get you there. And it sounds like you're doing great there, so that's fantastic.
Guy Gemmill 32:22
It is, it is. I mean, we have, we have an, we have a good existing delivery network and we have a good core, um, staff, you know, in our offices. These folks have been with us for a while and they've been doing, they've been customer serving or breaking down delivery networks or simplifying operations internally for years and years and years. And, you know, they have, they have their ideas of, of how we should change and what we should do, and we're making those changes and incorporating them with some of the new changes from our new folks.
So we just have a great staff. We have a great team. And it's important.
Lori Boyer 32:59
That's awesome. And I think that having that foundation is just so critical. And I obviously you said that your team is talking to people in the industry all the time. So I love working with companies who get great feedback and, and take that in and apply it.
And it sounds like that's what you guys are doing. Yes. So any other final words that you have for us, Guy, before we go? Any tips? So let's say that we've got somebody else, I don't actually have a ribbon business. So somebody else's business and they want to, they've listened to this about consolidated shipping.
They've been thinking about moving maybe international. What's the first thing that they should do to determine if it's their time, if they're ready, it, you know, how, how can they know that it's, it's time for them to look at this option?
Guy Gemmill 33:45
The simplest way is to kind of understand what your website traffic is and, and, and are you getting, you know, are international consumers hitting your website, are they looking at your products? How long are they spending on your website? And kind of gaining some of that data. And if you think that data is, you know, you're getting substantial hits, then it is time to look at that delivery model.
Lori Boyer 34:06
Okay. Oh, that's great advice. So that's what we're gonna recommend to you today.
I wanna hear from everyone. You can let me know later in the comments that you actually did this as a Lori follow-up here. Go online, check your traffic and see if you're starting to get those international hits. It may be an area you hadn't thought about expanding and, and you are getting a lot of interest from overseas.
I would guess you could also talk to, you know, your customer support or, if you're getting questions asking about shipping things overseas, but I love the idea of just the website traffic. So, that's everybody's to do task. Thank you so much, Guy for being here.
Guy Gemmill 34:40
Thank you Lori.
Lori Boyer 34:41
I've learned so much about consolidated shipping. Really, really cool offering out there. And I think you're absolutely right. That international shipping, I mentioned earlier, I spent all my time in research and international shipping is growing and growing and growing and growing in terms of ecommerce and, and retail.
So it's definitely something to look into. Guy if people wanna connect with you, what is a great way that they can, are you on LinkedIn? How can they reach out if they have questions for you?
Guy Gemmill 35:06
I'm on LinkedIn. You can go to the website, check out our website. You can submit an inquiry or you know, just call one of our offices, you know, everybody's there willing and able to talk and everybody has good experience and we'll direct you to the appropriate people.
Lori Boyer 35:20
Yeah. Awesome. And I will link in the, the show notes in our description a link to that so you guys can just get that. But thank you so much again for being here.
This has been really fun. I've loved learning from you. And as soon as I start that business...
Guy Gemmill 35:34
Give us a call.
Lori Boyer 35:37
Denmark, I'm coming for you. Thanks so much and we'll see you guys next time.
Guy Gemmill 35:41