Q&A with Imtiaz Kermali
The Magnet Export team had the opportunity to speak with Imtiaz Kermali of eShipper to explore the ins and outs of the company’s streamlined tech platform – a multi-functional, fully cloud-based shipping solution. Not only has eShipper redefined the way e-commerce businesses ship products, but the company has also become a prominent thought leader amongst a multitude of partnerships globally. Additionally, it’s been a priority for eShipper to empower Canadian businesses in expanding their global footprints. For that reason, it made perfect sense for eShipper to become a part of Magnet Export’s collaborative network of Community Partners!
Check out our conversation with Imtiaz to learn why you should be leveraging eShipper’s innovative platform.
Can you give us an overview of what eShipper does?
In the simplest form of explanation, eShipper is an online platform and is considered the Expedia for shipping! We aggregate the world’s largest shipping carriers into one window and allow our customers to pick and choose the type of carrier they want and the level of service. We don’t push any specific carriers or services – the idea is that we open up the channels for the client to quickly compare all the services available. eShipper is born out of technology empowering the client to facilitate their shipping as they see fit.
How do businesses manage their eShipper account?
eShipper is a cloud-based service that’s as simple as logging into your Gmail or Facebook account. The business is able to quickly enter shipping details such as postal code, dimensions and weight, and with just that level of information, they will be given a list of rates. We say it is three clicks before you get a quote, and your fourth click you’ll receive your shipping label. Within a two-minute process, you have your shipping label created and a carrier pick up on your behalf – without picking up your phone!
What does a typical eShipper client look like?
eShipper has evolved over the years! Our first businesses were manufacturers, retail stores, and mostly B2B. Over the last five to seven years, the e-commerce world has really picked up. What we are finding now is that a lot of our clients are selling to the end customer directly. We work with start-ups and entrepreneurs trying out a new product in the marketplace, we work with SMEs who have been in the industry for a few years but are now focused on streamlining their logistics.
Above and beyond that, we also work with multinational and global businesses. We work with some of the largest automotive companies in the world, where we are able to provide them with cost savings on the shipping side, but also lot more transparency on getting a full understanding on what is going on in their supply chain. We provide them with a level of consultancy and specialist services where they are able to take advantage of our carrier relationships, as well as our technology and our online platform, to make everything a lot more seamless!
Out of your client base, how many businesses are currently exporting products outside of Canada?
Between 40% to 50% of our clients have sales going outside of Canada! I would probably reduce that number to 20% -30% of clients that actually have distribution networks or partners they work with outside of Canada. A lot of our clients don’t know how to go global, or even if they have intentions of going global, they are very risk-averse and they are not sure if they have enough time, enough resources, or even the right kind of plan to find the right distributor. I think that is the key in the education we provide to clients, and in removing the risk of thinking outside of Canada.
Do you recommend eShipper to businesses who are just starting out on their export journey? What steps does eShipper take to help customers think about exporting internationally?
Absolutely! I would say probably 99% of our clients that we work with on a day-to-day basis have this discussion around exports and international shipping. They come to eShipper because even if they have the right partner in another country, they now need to move that product in a seamless method, abiding by the laws of the country the export is going into – and then, obviously, finding the best cost savings and the most efficient way to ship that product out.
A lot of our clients are now starting to think international after having consultative discussions with eShipper – we are able to link them up with industry leaders, like EDC and RBC, who are all able to have a touchpoint in the journey of an export plan. eShipper becomes your one-stop shop – we don’t just supply shipping rates. We take time understanding your business, what your risks and opportunities are, and then partner you up with the right people in the industry to make sure that you get the most out of that journey when you go global!
The Magnet Export Business Portal is the first step for businesses to connect with export-related resources and services like yours. Why did a partnership with Magnet Export make sense?
We actually take pride in helping our customers find the right partners, relationships and events to be at. What the Magnet Export Business Portal offers is the ability for our clients to actually gain more knowledge and a better understanding of what’s going on in their industry, what opportunities are coming about, and what grants are available; our customers then see us a partner that looks beyond just shipping.
We look at our clients’ businesses as a whole – one of the key reasons we have partnered up with the Magnet Export Business Portal is really to allow us to have new conversations with our customers and provide that level of consultancy outside of just the logistics side. It gives us the ability to educate our customers and give them the opportunity to be at the right place and the bid for the right type of grants so that they can grow their business. And in turn, when they do that, we grow our own business.
One last question – how can businesses connect with eShipper?
Our website is a great resource to find out about who we are – you’re able to get a quick quote there without having to sign up for an account! We also have a YouTube page, where you are able to see the services that we offer as well as customer testimonials.
We pride ourselves in human engagement with every single customer that reaches out to us. When you do connect with us, we don’t work on chatbots, or we won’t just email you back. We take the time to pick up the phone and really understand your business, and then come up with a solution that works for both our organizations.
Looking to connect with eShipper opportunities? Join the eShipper Community on Magnet now.
Imtiaz Kermali is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at eShipper Inc. Imtiaz has worked in various roles to deploy mobile and workflow transformations in the telecoms industry giving him firsthand experience in managing complex projects and finding efficiencies in workflow process. In 2015, Imtiaz accepted a VP role at eShipper Inc to scale up the business across North America, build structure to the company grow the brand globally. In the last year, Imtiaz has hosted multiple webinars and presentations with various trade boards and export forums to support and enhance international trade of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada.
eShipper is an online platform built to help small to medium size businesses ship and fulfill more efficiently. It enables users to save time and energy on shipping so business owners can reinvest it in growing their business. eShipper increases efficiency in everyday shipping operations through reliable integrations with marketplaces such as Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, eBay and more, and provides custom shipping solutions built to scale. It offers highly negotiated rates from the world’s most trusted carriers with multiple service levels and transit times, all on one platform. eShipper is like Expedia for shipping, the concept is to provide businesses with choice and ease so they can compete with national businesses and win! The platform has a base of 18,000 customers across North America who are able to save and create a shipment within 3 clicks. Carriers are able to offer eShipper great rates because the company collectively ships millions of packages a year, allowing them to pass on savings to their customers, to give them an advantage over their competitors.
eShipper provides full end to end fulfillment services including warehousing, pick & pack and shipping. It offers great solutions for Crowdfunding and Subscription box business owners and manages importing of raw materials from any part of the world.
eShipper is a thought leader in the industry providing free consultancy to clients for shipping, technology and growing their business globally. At eShipper you join the family and get to be a part of a community that is passionate about helping each other grow.