The year 2020 may have been tough, but it’s turned out to be a time of remarkable growth for Aramex franchisees. As Scott Jenyns, the CEO of Aramex (formerly Fastway Couriers) points out, ‘While it placed immense pressure on everybody, there was a massive silver lining for us – the surge in e-commerce volumes generated by house-bound Kiwis.
‘From late April to early July, our Courier Franchisees were picking up more parcels every day than on their busiest single day in 2019. For a period of time, volumes effectively doubled, and months later they are still higher than normal. Kiwis have become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. That’s great news for our existing franchisees and means more opportunities than ever for new ones.’
Scott says that Aramex customers throughout the country were able to ride the e-commerce wave and adopt online sales almost overnight thanks to Myfastway – Aramex’s self-service, electronic label consigning platform.
‘Aramex has the technology to make transactions seamless for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) customers. Opening a Myfastway account takes just a few minutes and was responsible for thousands of new customers during the lockdown.
‘There was so much demand that we had to re-introduce an Uber-style model called Blu Couriers where drivers use their own vehicles to complement the existing Aramex fleet. This proved highly effective in meeting the sudden surge in online retail shopping and addressing the resultant business-to-consumer delivery growth.
‘The new service can be easily ramped up to deal with volume spikes – such as those experienced on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and at Christmas – when our franchisees regularly experience higher demand for their services. It allows Aramex franchisees to focus on the needs of their customers and grow their core business all year round.’
Aramex offers two very different franchise opportunities. Regional Franchisees operate the depots in their respective regions, providing logistics and back office support services for individual couriers as well as managing administration and contracts in their area. ‘That’s a large investment, large return opportunity,’ says Scott.
Courier Franchisees own their own vans and do pick-ups and deliveries for our clients, as well as building on-the-ground relationships and generating new business. With 300 Courier Franchisees around the country, it’s a very secure business and, Scott says, now is a good time to get involved. ‘Parcel volumes are up 15 percent and showing no signs of reducing, and we have individual courier opportunities available nationwide – particularly in the larger metropolitan areas.
‘The business attracts people from all walks of life, both young and old, and Courier Franchisees require an upfront investment of just $25,000 to $35,000 +gst and a late-model vehicle. It’s an area where the old saying “hard work pays off” is totally applicable – the more effort you put in, the higher the return.
‘That means you need to be energetic, relatively fit, and friendly,’ explains Scott. ‘You must also be personable and outgoing because we want people who can develop relationships. After all, couriers are the primary point of contact with customers.’
Anyone looking at purchasing an Aramex Courier Franchise for the first time can expect to be backed by high-calibre support, says Scott. ‘Collectively, the national support team has more than 100 years’ experience in Aramex and Fastway, and many have owned and operated one of our franchises themselves, so they know what it’s really like. They will provide full training to get you earning fast, with ongoing assistance right across the board from operations to marketing and technology.
‘Having good systems to help you be quick and efficient around parcel pick-up is vital to your earning power, and we have access to the latest technology to keep you ahead. Aramex is one of the top five logistics providers in the world, operating in 72 countries, and that gives us a lot of experience to draw on. As Aramex, we also now offer a seamless transaction under one name for international e-commerce businesses selling and delivering consumer products to New Zealanders.’
Scott says there’ll be more promotion of the Aramex brand in the months ahead to remind customers of the worldwide logistics firepower available through their local courier.
The Aramex franchise support office is based in Hawkes Bay, the home of Fastway Couriers since 1983, with a new development planned for 2022 that will create a Centre of Excellence facility doubling as the local courier operation, depot and national training facility. ‘This will help our franchisees build better businesses than ever,’ says Scott. ‘It will also allow us to trial new services and technology prior to any national or global roll out, and offer more opportunities for staff and franchisees to progress further across the wider Aramex community.’
For anyone concerned about the risk of becoming self-employed in the current climate, Scott points out: ‘I’ve seen this business weather two global crises – the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s shown just how well-insulated our franchise model is from any fallout. In fact, with the growth of online retail, there’s probably never been a better time to catch the wave – get in touch and find out more.’