Packing & Shipping in Orange County with Jim Duncan, AIM Mail Center

Jim Duncain - AIM Mail Center - Packing & Shipping Expert

Jim Duncain - AIM Mail Center - Packing & Shipping Expert

Good morning everybody. I was thinking about talking about the things I want to talk about, but for Mike, Dennis, and Don who’ve all been here much longer than I have, after 40 talks or so, what else can you say? So I want to talk about a couple of things. First of all, my involvement with Le Tip has been a big part of my life for the last 22 years. I don’t like to miss, I try not to miss, if I’m not here, I send someone. I think 95 or 96 was the last time we didn’t send anybody here from my company. Someone’s always here for our business, I really appreciate what we receive from all of you and the relationships we’ve established with all of you mean a lot to me, so thank you for that.

The experience you have coming to us is different than, we have the densest mail center in the country in Huntington Beach. There are 7 competitors within a mile and a half. Two of them are major competitors, major forces in the industry. Fortunately we beat them all, which is really good. Your experience coming there, So why would you do that? I gave you a handout earlier which is our services beyond flat rate. The flat rate process that the post office came up with a few years ago is very good. You can put anything in there, your rock collection, and it will go at flat rate.

That’s a really good deal, but what’s unusual about it is if you have something light in it, you don’t want to ship it flat rate. You’re stuck with the box, but any other carrier will take anything you’ve got. The post office, if it says flat rate on it or priority, you’ve got to use it. But the other thing is someone will come into the post office with these huge boxes and they’re really wasting a ton of space and leaving a ton of money on the table. As I showed you on the sheet, you get to that point and the private carriers are not only more efficient but better for you cost-wise.

It wasn’t an accident I opened this business across from a post office and opened the second one next to a post office. We get a lot of business from them, I bring them food, we get a lot of referrals and we do a lot of packing for them. We do all the packing for Fed Ex/Kinko’s on Adam and Beach. They don’t like to pack or do anything as far as shipping, they prefer just copying, so they send a lot of business to us, which is good, establishing relationships. But your experience coming to us, one of the things happening now in the industry is a lot of free shipping, pay for shipping online, accounts menus, and we welcome that. Not a lot of benefit to us, but we get the customer count in there and a lot of people need to ship things personally. So I see it all the time, a large box you found behind a dumpster and you jam that thing in there and you fill it with whatever and the box collapses, but you pay for that dimensional weight. But you need to have that box really packed and really tight and even though it’s paid for, I’ll ask them what’s in it, can I drop it off the counter and it’s safe?

Not that we’re going to, but it’s a test. The only ones that treat things poorly in the industry are the airlines, they don’t want it, so they toss it, throw it. But carriers don’t have time and are monitored quite closely, so 4 seconds is the longest amount of time they can touch anything. At one facility I visited in Memphis, there are 24 miles of conveyor belt in the building. So they put it on the conveyor belt, they have to know right away which one it goes on and that stuff is on the conveyor belt a long time. Can you imagine a box you put your grandmother’s china in, maybe threw some packing peanuts in there, a little bit of rolled up newspaper, the box is too big, it’s going to collapse on the top, and next to it is a compact box packed really tight, maybe with a computer in it, it’s heavier.

Can you imagine what’s going to happen to those boxes going down a conveyor belt, it’s not their personal touch, it’s how things travel when no one’s looking at it. Stamping “fragile” on it, doesn’t help, no one will see that anyway, having the box loose doesn’t do you any good because things collapse or pop out, so you want things really tight in there. When you bring your box to us, we ask what’s in it, we’ll repack it, make sure it’s tight, and once it’s tight, it’s a lot safer and you’re paying a lot less for it because of the dimensional weight issue.

So a lot of people say insurance, I’ll just insure it. Well, it’s not a replacement-value insurance policy. And insurance companies, their first edict is, we decline your insurance no matter what you say, we decline it. I know how the different carriers work. If it’s over $500 they’re probably going to deny it anyway. Our work and FedEx don’t go together. UPS, the preferred customer status allows me to have a relationship where I can move things faster through the system. With UPS, they say, “That’s okay, Jim, we’ll just send you the money.” They use a company called Crawford that has to make sure the package is properly packed, which is critical, they have to inspect it and once they do that, they deny it obviously, and then you have to fight them.

But I have that relationship that works not all the time, but it’s really critical in the packing, and that’s why I repack some of these items, even if they came in with free shipping or that someone else paid for. You drop it off at our place and you packed it, even if we’re not liable financially because you packed it, well, we kind of are, because you brought it to us. So we’re that last bastion of where the package is going, you brought it to us, so we have to look at it that way. You send it out there, we want to make sure it gets where it’s going safely and it gets there on time because whether we repacked it or have money in it, you brought it to us, you’re still looking at us as the last point of your package going out there. You want grandma’s china, whatever it is, to be safe.

So the insurance price is not replacement value, it’s actual value. And if it’s artwork, it has to be proven value. So you make sure it is. I really like the items you bring in this time of year, I want to make sure they’re safe, get your presents where they’re going. The challenge I’ve enjoyed throughout the years is the unusual items, the trees to Hawaii, making sure they’re alive, the succulent garden going to New Jersey, had to stay in one position the whole trip and how it ended up, it got there and we made sure I built a pallet on it safely and the shipping manager on the other end brought it in like it was an egg crate, but it was only 30 pounds, and I had a little taletell in there so I knew if it was safe or not.

So I called the shipper and said, “Your package is down there, have someone come down and pick it up”. When the guy brought it up to the girl’s office, he carried it sideways. It got to New Jersey in two days, but it got there like this. Not the way they wanted it, but it got there the way I wanted it. Any questions?

I’ve been in the business of helping people with their shipping and packing needs for 16 years now. We have been a top UPS and FedEx shipper for many years running. We can ship literally ANYTHING, ANYWHERE just try us! We specialize in unusual items for packing and shipping, items no other shippers will touch!

9121 Atlanta (at Magnolia, on the Northeast corner)
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
AIM Mail Center #6 on the web