Online luggage shipping company UniBaggage.com has just signed a $1 million deal with US couriers to ship customers’ items in and out of the States to 500 new global routes.
Opening an office in New York to work directly with these couriers, the deal will give the East Belfast operation access to hundreds of thousands of new customers who regularly ship their belongings out of the States for college, while travelling or relocating to a different country.
Needing to increase its workforce to cope with the demand, Uni Baggage now has a team of 15 who work on various shifts from 9am to midnight to provide customer support to the new US customers via phone, email and livechat.
Company owner Paul Stewart from Belfast, set up the business eight years ago while he was at university and spending a fortune on airline costs shipping his belongings to and from home. He said: “This US deal is a significant milestone for Uni Baggage and has kick-started our international growth plans. We have enjoyed fantastic growth over the last 18 months and are on target to double sales thanks to this new deal which allows us to sell into countries we previously hadn’t had access to. We will be taking on an additional five staff in 2018/19 to manage new customers and to keep our growth on track.”
Although Uni Baggage started shipping luggage solely for students, the customer profile has evolved, allowing for increased business – something Mr Stewart is keen to cultivate. He said: “We set up the business as students need to move several times a year, and often travel home during Christmas or summer breaks. However, as airline prices increased, we found that more ‘frequent travellers’, who move around several times a year, used Uni Baggage to ship their luggage ahead of them. We are now also finding that people are moving countries for work or family commitments more often and want a quick and reliable way of shipping their belongings across the world. Our service is completely online making it very easy to use and very affordable. Long gone are the days of the big removal trucks for long distance moves!”