Serial entrepreneur Jimmy Wu is behind the establishment and growth of Auckland-based multi-national online courier company Parcelport. Wu founded the company in 2012 and has taken the business to new heights over the past six years.
Today, Parcelport are experts in the logistics industry transporting goods to and from 220 countries across the globe. Wu shares his Parcelport journey.
Have you always wanted to start your own business?
I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship, my family was not entrepreneurial, in fact my parents wish I would become a doctor or engineer, I was born in communist China but grew up secretly watching TVs from capitalist Hong Kong, my home town is close to Hong Kong so we can pick up the TV signal, only just. So I guess you can say I was a brain-washed communist turned capitalist from a young age.
When did you start your first business and what was it?
I especially like online businesses, I started my first business at age 13 selling vegetable from our front yard in Henderson, these are the days before internet, but my business operates automatically, people simply take the vege and put the money into a honesty box.
During my university years I started a domain name and email hosting company which we grew to 30,000 users within two month.
What inspired you to start Parcelport?
I was running a successful business long ago, when my father felt ill in 2009, I retired from my then business to look after him, when he passed away in late 2009, I was shattered. I had lost my mentor and my closest friend.
I was only in my early 30s, I was too young to retire, so I thought it was time to start my next business venture. Ecommerce is booming, but logistics is not catching up, everything is still done quite manually, I see an opportunity in ecommerce logistics. People find it impressive that I fixed this small company and turned it around after facing the loss of my father. The truth is that after all the grieving, this company is the one that fixed me.
What are some challenges you have faced with the business?
It’s a well-known fact that most start-ups fail in their first two years. In the early days, we only had a few employees, so everyone had to do everything. I don’t have any experience in the logistics industry prior to starting Parcelport, in a way it is good because we will design the system from a fresh user perspective, we had to start from the bottom and learn everything in the business fast, I wouldn’t say I am a logistics guru, but after 6 years I do know a thing or two about logistics now.
The other thing is to attract talent, surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you. We managed to attract former New Zealand DHL Managing Director & Director of DHL Asia Pacific Graham Roberts to join us as our Chairman and former Vice President DHL Asia Pacific Jeff Vollebregt to join us as our CEO.
Another challenge is that we were up against industry giants and incumbents. We negotiated partnerships with so many organisations and faced several rejections. Fortunately, modern technology and the internet were on our side. We have partnered up with Post Haste, Castle Parcels, New Zealand Post, TIL and TNT Express to offer a number of domestic and international courier options to our customers.
Wha are Parcelport’s core values?
With a strong passion for global connectivity and business growth, one of Parcelport’s core missions is to enable small-medium enterprises to sell internationally by giving them access to bigger global markets for online sales.
What are some of your greatest achievements with Parcelport?
In 2016, Parcelport was ranked 170th in the Deloitte Fast 500 Index of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region up against tech giants like China, Japan and South Korea, and also became a finalist in the Westpac Best Emerging Business Award in the same year.
In 2019, our customer numbers tripled and revenue also tripled within a year. We have also setup a subsidiary in Hong Kong servicing the international ecommerce market.
Do you think as a country, do we celebrate and support entrepreneurship?
I think as a country we are punching above our weight, there are a lot of support for start-up businesses, to some people, the word “ambition” still have some form of negative ring attached to it, sometimes it is being viewed as a dirty word. As children we think Cinderella story is cool, marrying a prince is happily ever after, I think we can celebrate entrepreneurship more and start from a younger age.
Finally, what advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
In my final year of university, I was facing the prospect of unable to graduate as I have failed one of my major second year paper, at that time I'd visit the office of my university professor everyday to convince him to let me change my major to statistics, and to do all year 1 to year 3 statistics papers co-currently in one year in order for me to graduate that year, such request was never been granted before, because of my persistence, at the end he reluctantly allowed me to do that and he said to me:"if you keep on being this persistent in life, you will one day do very well"
So my advice would be to be persistent. We are a persistent and strong team of people who make a point to never give up. We’re like a shipping label- always sticks to the package until it reaches the destination.
And by the way I did end up graduated that year with a bachelor degree in statistics.
Parcelport is New Zealand’s leading online courier company and logistics specialists based in Auckland. Their highly efficient “click, stick, track & go” system makes for a simple and quick courier process which is the number one solution for small-medium enterprises and e-commerce businesses. The company transports goods to and from 220 countries across the globe.
Phone: 0800 PAYPORT or 09 280 6213 (if calling from mobile)
Phone: 0274 587 724