Packing & Shipping Orange County with Jim Duncan of AIM Mail Center

Jim Duncain - AIM Mail Center - Packing & Shipping Expert

Jim Duncain – AIM Mail Center – Packing & Shipping Expert

Jim Duncan: Anyway, like she said I started this 22 years ago. And the one in Costa Mesa I planned on flipping because she bought it and it was really suppressed from the people who were running it. It was a great area. And who would have known what happened in 2008? So I still have it. And it’s actually growing, so that’s good.

But I did start this 22 years ago looking for a service based company that would still allow me to do kind of an engineering thing, which I’ll be showing you in a few minutes. I really wanted a company that would benefit small businesses.
If a painter needs anything done beyond the painting, we’re here to cover those areas. If a dry cleaner, if an accountant, if anyone needs things beyond what they do in their specific business, we’re here to do that.
We have 35 different departments, 35 different areas. I’ll go over each one of them individually in detail.

How much time do I have? Anyway, I’ll talk about two. One is passport expediting. You can do passport expediting in a number of ways. You can just get your passport through the mail. You can get a passport expedited through the government or you can come to us.Usually we do it in under a month. If you go through the government and you have any problem, you have a time delay where you have to go somewhere and there’s a problem with your passport, you’re trying to expedite it, all they’ll do is send you a letter saying, ‘We have a problem. Please respond.’ You may have already missed your deadline.

So what we do is we stay on top of it. We’re in contact with the people that process. We’re in contact with you if there’s any problems, we get them handled right away. We’ve never missed a deadline. Knock on wood.
Be that as it is, the thing I want to talk about today mostly is freight. We ship everything. We’ve shipped Dennises, telephones. We ship just about anything possible that you have. But the thing that I like best is freight. What we’re going to do here is I’m going to show you some of the things we’ve shipped over the years.

A clock. Grandfather’s clock. We’ve done a number of these. This is probably the most ornate one we’ve done. Another wall hanging clock that is kind of ornate. This part up here was a problem because these are embedded into the top and they had to be protected from any little damage, which was pretty difficult.

This looks kind of funny. They wanted these cupcakes sent because they had a message on it. Nothing could affect the icing. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but boxes don’t stay in one position. They get tumbled all over. So we had to create some way to protect that icing so it’d still look like that without something coming off and pulling all the icing off and still get there exactly like this. This is a picture of when it got there.

Business Growth Innovators Member: How’d you do that?

Jim Duncan: Secret. That’s why we do it. Okay. Copiers like this. We’ve sent these many, many times. Just a big item like that that’s kind of bulky. Let’s see here. This is some stuff going to Northern Alberta, in Canada. This guy goes back and forth to Newport, and rents a house for a month. And this time he came back, he bought all this crap and he wanted it back there.
Now, to get there, you have to build a special crate that’s internationally rated. All this stuff is up there. He liked it so well that he’s going to use it and bring it back next month. Because he’s going to do this every year. That was kind of cool.

Jim Duncan: And that’s it filled.
Let’s see here. This is a collator we, also sent like that. I didn’t have a picture of the actual item so I took a picture of the thing we did.

Okay, this looks like an old bed which is what it is. This was $10,000 value on this thing. These are the rails. This is the side. This is like 200-300 years old. And it had a providence, the difficult part about that is the risk management of having something like that be safe all the way.

Filtration system. This doesn’t look too big but if you had a guy standing there it’d be about right here. Standing right there. Pretty massive item. It weighed about 11,000 pounds. That was fun.
Those kinds of things I really like. A rocking horse for a kid that’s really old. A marlin, miniature. Okay, this item can’t be touched. This is a ceremonial Indian thing, decoration. This is horse hair, these are feathers. None of this can be touched. It’s like eagle feathers. You can’t touch those things except, unless you’re Native American. So I had to do that without touching it. The first thing I did was . . .

Business Growth Innovators Member: You touched it!

Jim Duncan: Realize the problem. You can grab the bottom, but you can’t touch the head or the rest of it. First thing I did was touch it. They didn’t see me.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Oh, that’s where you’re cursed.

Jim Duncan: No, I’m kidding, I didn’t touch it. But, I built this base for it so that base that you saw there would sit inside here. This is about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Should I just swipe into the next one? It’s not the right one.

Jim Duncan: We’re fine there for awhile.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Okay, yeah.

Jim Duncan: Okay. So I put it in there. Glasses would help. Right, Connie? Okay. So put it in there.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Well, that puts it in focus.

Jim Duncan: That’s it setting inside there and it worked quite well. The finished crate, once we had it in there was totally secure and the way it worked was perfect and the Indian group really liked it.
This was kind of interesting. Tiffany lamp. And everyone knows how delicate a Tiffany lamp is. So we built this box for them. This is just a regular box but the thing about it is its quadruple wall all the way around. See? As you’ll see in a minute, it makes it pretty sturdy to protect the inside. Because the way that thing’s sitting there I built baffles, because you can have the box but the compression of the box and the compression of the peanuts and whatever against the item can still crush something that’s that fragile. So by doing this with this baffle in there, this pressure here is transmitted to a whole surface area like so so it protects the inside pretty well.

Business Growth Innovators Member: That’s for the transfer. [inaudible 0:06:26]

Jim Duncan: So there’s my son sitting on top of it. Unfortunately my son only weighs 135 pounds and is 6 foot, but he’s sitting on top of it.
Everybody has one of these in their house. This was actually shot by military in an area where they’re trying to remove all the buck from the area. So . . .

Business Growth Innovators Member:Where’s the rest of them?

Jim Duncan: You know, it was amazing, how light these things are. I thought they’d be really heavy.

Business Growth Innovators Member: It’s in the other room.

Jim Duncan: It’s really light.

Business Growth Innovators Member: They ate him.

Jim Duncan: And we ate him, yeah. So what we had to do here is, the hardest part was the antlers. We had to protect those in its own little area there. Again, this is a quadruple box there which cannot be compressed basically unless you’re driving over it, which we’ve seen that happen. Inside here, this is foam in place. You have two injection molds that go into there and it expands up and fills up the whole void and makes for a pretty safe little box.
We’ve sent, that’s a 200 year old Rousseau painting. Quite valuable. And again, the thing with the high value things is really the risk management. It’s like that sculpture. There’s only two in the world. Now there’s only one. It’s really the risk management. Hey, it wasn’t my fault.
This is an old Chippendale type desk thing. You can imagine that Chippendale stuff. I mean, I don’t why anybody has it. You can’t even sit on it. These are the fragile parts, the legs. So what you do is you build up something underneath it that allows the legs just to dangle and it supports the whole thing because the forces are then transmitted to the base itself and protects it.
This is a snowmobile. We’ve done a number of snowmobiles and

Business Growth Innovators Member: Sea-Doos.

Jim Duncan: Sea-Doos, yeah. But the Sea-Doos we always send to the Middle East. Like Abu Dhabi or Dubai for some reason. I’m not sure where they’re using them over there.

Business Growth Innovators Member:Those windshields scrub right off of those things with just one half flip.

Jim Duncan: A little spinning wheel that’s kind of old. That was kind of cool. Serpentine sculpture. Serpentine stone. Very soft, very soft. Old Frigidaire range. That was kind of funny.
Here’s the best one on this list here. A Zamboni. An actual Zamboni to clean the ice. Who figures that? I guess they wanted it somewhere else.
So that’s it. So we do all this stuff and we like doing stuff that’s challenging and takes some effort to think about how it’s going to be protected. Any questions.

Business Growth Innovators Member: So I’m in a house the other day. I called you and you were out goofing off someplace. Guy says, ‘I want to move my wine. I’m moving from Newport to Florida. I don’t know how to do that . . .’

Jim Duncan: Move my what?

Business Growth Innovators Member: Wine.

Jim Duncan: Wine? Okay.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Then I thought, ‘Well, Jim could probably handle that. He’s got smuggling crews that he does that with. Around the horn with a sailor’s ship and stuff like that.’ Any problem with moving . . .?

Jim Duncan: No, actually anybody can ship wine. Lots of people do. Go to any UPS store, they’ll ship wine. But none of them will insure it. We’re one of the only ones that can insure your wine. Actually get it insured and processed. Because it’s just a bottle. Bottles will not be insured, what’s in them is not insured. You’ve got this valuable wine. It’s not insured. We’ll insure it. Anyone else?

Business Growth Innovators Member:Or drink it.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Who builds your custom crates?

Jim Duncan: Me.

Business Growth Innovators Member: You do?

Jim Duncan: Yup.

Business Growth Innovators Member: He’s the engineer.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Engineer.

Jim Duncan: I want to make sure they’re done right. And the ones that I showed you for Canada or for other parts of the world you have to do a special certification for that. So I get someone involved that will come in and certify it.
Actually this is, real quick, guy. One of the reasons that I’ve talked about this third place I’m going to have, I’m going to have it up there near Gothard and Heil, right now.

It’s a warehouse location that is going to be for freight. Because I can do it out of the Costa Mesa store. I’ve got double doors but if you see some of the stuff in there, it’s not that much room for something like a Zamboni. So I want an area where I can have a forklift, a loading dock, if necessary and have the availability to build the big stuff.
Okay. Guy, real quick?

Business Growth Innovators Member: You have the shipping charges and then obviously there’s insurance charges. Does your customer come up with the value of the piece?

Jim Duncan: Yes and if it is like the painting, they have to have an appraisal. Like jewelry. Anything that has high value has to be third-party appraised. Because otherwise, you can insure anything for anything. But when it comes down to proving it is another thing.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Exactly.

Jim Duncan: Anybody else?

Business Growth Innovators Member: Alright.

Jim Duncan: Thank you very much.
Thanks, everybody for participating in the program.

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