Mailpac becomes a provider of 'need'
Company delivering change to Jamaica, Caribbean as it progresses during COVID-19

DESPITE COVID-19, Mailpac Group Limited has seen its business accelerate as it positions itself to be the provider of 'need' in the current challenging environment for many people who are making the adjustment to the new way of life.

The company which listed in December 2019 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the pandemic due to consumers' need to source online goods that make life more manageable in the stay-at-home environment.

Although Mailpac had projected its revenue to be $1.32 billion with a net profit of $317 million for 2020, the logistics company ended up setting a record for revenue which topped $1.72 billion and net profit finishing at $442.72 million, which were ahead of its 2022 projections.

Even with all these results the young company's Chairman Khary Robinson reminded the Jamaica Observer' s Sunday Finance that Mailpac has had to constantly address new opportunities and challenges which came about because of the pandemic.

“Mailpac has had to evolve tremendously during COVID-19 for a number of reasons. Firstly, the demands on our services expanded exponentially, forcing us to quickly and efficiently expand our infrastructure and operating capacity.

“Secondly, new areas of opportunity emerged which we addressed through a mix of strategic initiatives or acquired solutions. But most importantly, the nature of our business changed from being a provider of 'want' to a provider of 'need'. People and their families became dependent on us to ensure they had the necessary supplies and items to get by during these challenging times. This meant we had to strive for perfection in all areas within our control. We listened more to our customers and adjusted to meet their demands. The evolution is still ongoing but it has and continues to be a welcomed one,” said Robinson who is also executive chairman of Norbrook Equity Partners which has notable subsidiaries such as Express Fitness, Hertz, Pure National Ice and Epay.

Mailpac's line of business has made it relatively immune to the pandemic since it has managed to operate longer hours and avoid closure due to it being deemed essential. Even with the three upcoming weekends of lockdown, Robinson noted that since the company is a courier platform, they'll be eligible for a waiver to operate up to midnight.

Despite the company incurring a significant jump in costs during the fourth quarter which included chartering a plane, Robinson said: “Our long-term partnership with our airlift partners has allowed us to have supportive and constructive dialogue. These talks have led to greater commitment and support from these providers who will be increasing airlift capacity significantly in the next few weeks and into the future. We have the same goal of serving the evolving need of consumers but their infrastructure makes pivoting a slower process for them.”

Even with the company generating more than $100 million in cashflow from operations each quarter, Robinson explained that Mailpac's focus hasn't deviated from its usual modus operandi.

“We position ourselves the same every year. We assess where we were and what we need to improve or introduce to continue to lead the market. We then set targets around those elements as well as our traditional targets for customer service and growth. We then invest time and resources in developing those solutions that allow us to achieve or supersede those targets.”

The company's stock has performed significantly over the last year, with the one-year return between February 2020-2021 being 95 per cent – the highest return on the Junior Market. It's even more notable that Mailpac's stock price hit an all-time low of $1.20 during the market sell-off and peaked recently at $4.43.

Through its partnership with Pricesmart and a growing line of other businesses, Mailpac's local operation has been booming as customers choose it to source their goods rather than join the flock of people rushing ahead of the lockdown. Even as his 'Pink Army' prepares for the unknown, Robinson believes that Mailpac's new investments will bear fruitful returns for the company which is planning to establish its Caribbean presence.

“From our new lockers to our electric vehicles, Mailpac is working feverishly to stay on the cutting edge of excellence. We want people to associate our brand with more than packages. We are always looking to expand the scope and scale of our business which ranges from geographical expansion to the range of supply partners we work with at any given time. We are fanatical about making the lives of our customers better and spend all our strategic capacity figuring out how we will 'wow' the market with service, speed, quality, and care. We want to be the brand of innovation, of convenience, of service and of leadership. We are getting there day by day,“ Robinson said.

A client (left) receiving a package at one of the Mailpac outlets.
A member of the Mailpac team checking the company's pick-up locker.
ROBINSON...Mailpac has hadto constantly address newopportunities and challengeswhich came about because ofthe pandemic
BY DAVID ROSE Sunday Finance writer

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