Bernie Kinsella, CEO, WorldBOX.ie

Bernie Kinsella, CEO, WorldBOX.ie

Bernie Kinsella launched Worldbox.ie three weeks ago to offer an affordable world-wide shipping service for small deliveries of up to 20kg.

The company will deliver packing boxes to homes and businesses, along with the rel- evant customs documents, at an agreed time.

Customers can then fill the box straight away for delivery to any destination in the world, or they can opt instead to have it collected at a later date.

“We supply the box, the relevant forms you may need, the labels and an advice checklist to make sure that you don’t forget anything,” said Kinsella. “Your box will be fully tracked and insured and you can follow its progress from collection to delivery on Worldbox.ie. It’s the true meaning of click-and-ship.”

The idea for Worldbox.ie came from Kinsella’s experience running Wheels Couriers, a Dublin-based delivery company that employs 20 people on Belvedere Place.

“It came about as a result of a complaint from a customer,” she said. “Wheels has large customers in banking, for example, and we do all of their daily courier and logistics work.

“We got a call two years ago from a woman working for one of these customers looking to have a personal gift delivered to Australia. When she got the bill, she discovered that shipping the item cost four times its value.

“This is because the cost of shipping an item doesn’t just come down to the weight, but also the height, width and breadth of the package. You have to calculate the actual volume to work out the cost.

“Trying to get this across to the consumer is next to impossible. People put stuff into whatever box they have, regardless of its size, so we thought there had to be a way to let people know the cost of the shipping before they even decide to send the item.”

Customers can choose from three boxes online at Worldbox.ie – 5kg, 10kg and 20kg options. By selecting the country to which they want to send their package from a drop down menu, they can see how much the service would cost before placing the order.

The cost of shipping a 5kg box to Britain is €30, for example, while sending a 10kg box to the US would cost €60.

“We designed the box in such a way that they could hold as much as possible, but you are informed of the price before you ship,” said Kinsella.

“It was a hard thing to do because we had to try to keep the rates competitive to deliver any one of the boxes to anywhere in the world. That was our biggest challenge, but we managed to keep them reasonable.

“The 20kg box is a big box, you can fit alot in it, but the dead weight can’t go over that or the price goes up and you’re in trouble with the airline.”

“We have the driver weigh the boxes when they go out to collect them so they can say at the doorstep ‘look, you’re slightly over, what do you want to do?’ People will usually just take something out, because it’s at the last minute that they end up throwing in everything anyway.”

The Worldbox.ie service will be offered in Dublin city initially and will be rolled out to other cities early next year. Kinsella sees three potential markets for the venture, including consumers who want to ship packages to relatives who are based overseas.

“We also know there’s a gap in the market for tourists. There’s research that shows that tourists spend an average of €150 in Dublin city, but would spend more if they could ship home easily, so we’re going to try to get the boxes into hotels.”

Worldbox.ie will also target big companies, who employ people from overseas and are keen to attract staff with practical perks.

“The likes of Microsoft and Google will do anything to help their staff,” said Kinsella. “We’re in the middle of showing companies the product and we’re getting a good response.”

Learning to sell a new product to an unfamiliar market is a steep learning curve.

“It’s a whole new skill-set. We’re used to B2B [business-to-business], to sitting in front of people, looking at the whites of their eyes, knowing what they want and putting a proposal together for them.

“This is the first time we’ve had to learn to get people to come to our website and how to inform them about it before they need to ship.”

Article appeared in The Sunday Post 5 October 2014