E-commerce logistics provider Mailpac Group Limited, on November 29, announced its first end-to-end online barrel-packing and shipping platform at www.packyuhbarrel.com (PYB!).
The company has timed the offering to take advantage of the end of year season in which Jamaicans in the Diaspora send home packaged food and other grocery items to relatives in the island. Mailpac is the latest of several local e-commerce sites to offer the barrel-packing service. The company is targeting an additional US$2 million in annual revenue from the new segment.
Mailpac is promising that customers can take advantage of significant cost savings from sending personal items in a barrel without the hassle of having to go through all the physical steps involved with shipping a barrel to Jamaica.
Mailpac Group Executive Chairman Khary Robinson told the Jamaica Observer on December 1 that, "Given that Jamaica Producers is facilitating the Miami logistics and brokerage components, the investment for PYB! is really in the technology software and hardware and the commercialisation of the platform. Together, those elements will account for less than $30 million.
"With the average barrel shipped being between US$300 and US$400, we are aiming to get up to between US$1m [$150m] and US$2m [$300m] of annual barrel revenue over the next few years."
Mark Gonzales, CEO of Mailpac Group, noted, "Pack Yuh Barrel will revolutionise the barrel business by packing and delivering barrels in the most efficient way for local customers as well as customers in the Diaspora."
Options are a 55-gallon barrel or a smaller 30-gallon, or 15-gallon barrel, depending the amount and size of items they intend to ship.
Upon sign up, customers will get a unique PYB 'barrel address' to which they can ship their packages. After the items arrive at their PYB address, they are packed into a barrel and, once full, shipped via sea freight, cleared through customs, and delivered directly to any address islandwide provided by the customer.
Mailpac indicated that customers have up to 30 days in which to fill their barrel.
"PYB promises consumers buying personal items in bulk a cost-efficient way to ship personal items. It reduces overall shipping and duty costs associated with buying larger quantities or large-sized items all at once," said Robinson.
"Shipping barrels is part of Jamaican culture and has long been utilised by the Diaspora as a way to send items to family and friends back home because of considerable savings on freight and duty charges. It is also a cost-efficient way for local consumers to shop online and ship items in bulk instead of sending individual packages. However, coordination of purchasing a barrel, shopping for items, packing them into the barrel, shipping the barrel, clearing it at customs and collecting it is tedious and time consuming. Additionally, shipping a barrel as an individual carries the risk of unexpected and unwanted costs," he continued.
Robinson noted in Mailpac Group's latest financials for the third quarter ended September 30 that growth and cost-rationalising initiatives have enabled the company to "Further close the gap on its 'pandemic-enhanced' performance of 2021."
Revenues for the quarter were $413.6 million, which is 2.0 per cent lower than the $422.0 million achieved in the same quarter of the previous year. Meanwhile, gross profit for the quarter was $207.3 million, a 2.8 per cent increase over the previous year, delivered through a mix of organic top-line recovery coupled with tighter controls around airfreight and clearance costs.
Net income for Q3 2022 came in at $77.7 million, 10.8 per cent lower than that of Q3 2021.
In a comment on the new offering, Robinson stated, "We are always looking at ways to unlock online shopping to more consumers and to provide them with added cost savings. The launch of PYB is a way to do that and is a part of our 2022 strategic initiatives to revitalise our existing sea freight services."