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Pioneering courier business delivers 35 year milestone

New Zealand’s pioneering courier delivery network Fastway Couriers is celebrating 35 years.

The company, which was established in Hawke’s Bay in 1983, is celebrating the milestone at its annual conference, to be held in Nelson on April 12-13.

Fastway Couriers chief executive Scott Jenyns says the businesses has come a long way from “one man in a van” to a global franchise with 63 regional depots and 1700 franchisees in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and South Africa, 2,200 Pracel Connect agents and handling over 40 million deliveries annually.

In New Zealand there are 17 regional franchisees with over 250 courier franchisees delivery from Cape to Bluff.

“The parcel and delivery industry has changed dramatically over the past 35 years. The first Fastway van in New Zealand distributed in a world pre-smartphone technology and internet, in a market made up predominately of business to business customers,” Mr Jenyns said.

The rise of online shopping over the past five years has completely transformed our industry from 80 percent of deliveries being larger packages delivered between two businesses to 80 percent of parcels now being smaller than 3 kilograms on average and delivered to residential properties.

Over this time parcel movements have risen year on year by 10% with the majority of parcels now being delivered as a part of an online transaction between a buyer and seller.

He says much of the success of the business can be attributed to the franchise model that founding owner Bill McGowan initiated in 1984, after just one year in business.

“We get a real kick out of seeing the franchisees embrace our model and be true courier experts in their local markets.

“Our point of difference to that of our competitors is that our local franchisees are business owners applying their trade in a local market. It is very motivating as the CEO when you witness a national initiative being adopted by our franchisees into their region.

“A good example of this is our Parcel Connect agent network that now comprises of over 250 agents and is very much a key part of the Fastway ecosystem” Mr Jenyns says.

The rapidly growing appetite of New Zealand consumers for online shopping and the expectation of round-the-clock convenience has underpinned the development of a number of innovative new technologies to help future proof our business and franchisees and delight every customer at the door.

“The e-commerce growth rates are phenomenal, all of our large global e-commerce customers and domestic customers we are integrated with continue to perform well.

“We are turning the traditional delivery model on its head with a range of new technology and processes including embracing the sharing economy to help support franchisees and customers.

“We have invested heavily in new technology and innovation to capture more share of the growing e-commerce market, whilst not taking our focus away from servicing our more traditional customers, with all initiatives aimed to help support our franchisee network.

Parcel Connect, a new service recently introduced, taps into the diverse business hours of local stores and service stations across New Zealand to provide a close and convenient drop off and collection point for both customers and Fastway’s franchisees.

Fastway Couriers’ ability to innovate and lead the way for the delivery sector in New Zealand is accelerated by its connection to international courier and logistics company Aramex.

Aramex, which operates in over 70 countries, purchased Fastway Couriers in January 2016, providing the business and its franchisees with access to world-leading research, resources and expertise.

Mr Jenyns says little has changed to the franchise model since the sale to Aramex but it’s opened up parcel delivery to and from their international markets that they operate in.

“We have been able to launch an international service on the back of that acquisition which we were not able to do cost effectively prior to the acquisitions.

“We also get access to their technology which is immensely important as technology continues to drive changes in the way we do business. They are also very supportive of investing in start-up businesses, so with any new investment in a start-up business we get access to that information and make an assessment whether that is applicable to the NZ market.”