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Start-up aims to help Kiwi SMEs export overseas

Helping Kiwi retailers and SMEs enter export markets, new start-up business Jetkrate will offer a small parcel, freight consolidation service which allows consumers to purchase goods from Kiwi businesses and have them sent overseas.

The new service aims to remove the need for intermediaries and replace the Daigou (personal shopper) channel which uses personal shoppers to purchase commodities from local retailers and ship them to customers in China as well as reduce the cost for freight for ex-pat Kiwis living overseas.

Jetkrate co-founder and former Fonterra executive, Varun Khetrapal, says the idea for the new service took two years to develop and stemmed from watching tourists at the airport fill their suitcases with infant formula and milk powder.

“Our research shows there are around a million ex-pat New Zealanders living overseas with the three major markets being Australia, UK and USA, followed by Canada, Germany, Singapore, France and Malaysia.

“We Kiwis are very patriotic and there is a big demand in these markets for iconic local brands such as Whittakers, Marmite and L&P as well as New Zealand wines and confectionery.”

Khetrapal says there are two significant barriers to Asian consumers shopping directly in New Zealand for products like Manuka honey, dairy, wine and woollen clothing.

“The first is not all NZ retailers ship overseas or if they do, the shipping costs become prohibitively expensive if customers are buying across multiple businesses.

“The second is about trust; in the same way New Zealanders might struggle to identify suitable online retailers to buy from in a country they have never visited, Chinese buyers rely on personal shoppers to select a supplier on their behalf.”

Kiwis stuck in Lockdown can utilise Jetkrate and send care packages overseas without anyone leaving their houses. The platform will equally help support Kiwi businesses that are too small to deal with international fulfilment.

The consolidated shipping model can save consumers two thirds of the costs of shipping items individually.

“As an example, three separate purchases of chocolate, wine and clothing sent separately from NZ to Canada could cost around $150 – however this cost would be closer to $50 through us.

“We’ll also hold customer’s packages for 30 days and so they can utilise us for storage while they shop online.”

Within the first three months of soft launching the site, Jetkrate has already had 1,000 customers register to use the service.

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