DocShipper: how two brothers are redefining and digitalising the import/export industry
A desire to change the way we trade internationally
Two brothers working in sourcing and logistics noticed a problem in their industry: it relied on outdated methods to move & purchase goods worldwide. It was a “who you knew” business that, in a globalised world, was struggling to keep up with the demand for fast and efficient international trade.
Enter DocShipper: a company founded to redefine international logistics & procurement for SMEs, corporations and individuals. The two founders Nicolas and Pierre Rahmé have the goal to shake up an industry that is stuck in the pre-digital era, and so have implemented new technologies to facilitate international business relations.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, DocShipper now operates across 40 countries, providing its expertise in Africa, Asia, Australia, America and Europe. This is about how DocShipper is using innovation to modernise a tired industry, and how its partnership with Airwallex helps it to deliver outstanding service for global customers.
Implementing new technology to manage customer supply chain logistics
DocShipper provides an end-to-end solution that aims to alleviate the hassles of supply chain management. Taking ownership of the process so that customers don’t have to worry about issues that arise between supplier, shipping agent and customs officer, DocShipper provides:
Product sourcing from different countries, including handling regulatory requirements and quality control
Traditional freight forwarding and customs clearance
3rd party logistics to help distribute products to customers via own warehouses
“We take care of the project 100% of the way.” says Nicolas Rahme, Founder & CEO of DocShipper. “We deal with every aspect of the project, from the door of the supplier to the door of the customer. That’s what makes us different - we are in control of the whole project.”
Putting the focus back on the customer
Traditional freight forwarding and sourcing companies typically focus their efforts on larger organisations. This often leaves SMEs and individual traders in the business lurch, often struggling to receive a prompt reply from their agents regarding their importations.
DocShipper’s founders saw this as an opportunity to connect with individuals, SMEs and Key Accounts on a global scale. DocShipper’s business model is based on three pillars designed to integrate the trading process for companies across the world.
These pillars are:
Marketing: DocShipper focuses on digital marketing to connect with customers on a global scale, as opposed to relying on established connections, which favours larger organisations. Digital marketing allows DocShipper to be highly visible online, take on more customers and communicate effectively across borders.
Proactive customer service: DocShipper enlists local experts, implements scalable processes and CRM technology to deliver better service to their clients. Customers can easily connect with them at any stage via a number of digital channels.
Network: DocShipper has an established network of trusted suppliers and agents operating across its international footprint. In each of its forty markets, DocShipper incorporates reputable shipping companies, suppliers and warehouses.
A flexible, secure and fast international payment experience powered by Airwallex
DocShipper was searching for a payment provider that would allow them to operate on a global scale from day one. Traditional banks were concerned about DocShipper’s larger digital marketing investment - something unheard of in the antiquated freight forwarding industry.
Finding an international payment partner was proving difficult initially, as the founding team required a solution that would allow them to make and receive international transactions on a global scale.
This is where they found Airwallex and its product that allowed them to operate globally out of their Hong Kong headquarters with ease. Airwallex immediately provided DocShipper with AU, EU, HK, UK and US accounts, which enabled them to make and receive global payments from day one.
“That is what we like about Airwallex: the fact that we can have different currency accounts in different countries,” says Pierre Rahme, Founder and Head of Sourcing for DocShipper. “We can reduce the cost of the transfer for all our customers and, especially, trade in different currencies.”
Airwallex made it easy for DocShipper to host accounts in their key markets. This not only helps to reduce the cost of transfer for all their customers, it also allows them to trade in different currencies – a flexibility that traditional banks were not able to offer.
What’s more, DocShipper’s clients feel comfortable with the knowledge that they are making payments to a local bank account without extra charges. Traditional freight forwarding and suppliers typically request payments to foreign bank accounts, which can be a deterrent for business owners.
Finally, Airwallex was able to help DocShipper manage client payments across multiple countries. International shipping often requires businesses to make payments to multiple countries in different currencies for one project, and this can cause huge headaches for agents when it comes to managing these payments.
Airwallex’s international accounts product allows DocShipper to accept customer payments in multiple currencies and countries given the nature of the project, and this has given DocShipper an advantage over competitors that utilise traditional bank transfers.
“Airwallex is allowing us to be able to put our money into different currencies in one click,” Hochet adds.
What’s ahead for DocShipper?
2021 is expected to be a year of outstanding growth for DocShipper. The company plans to hire more staff and further expand in existing and new locations while maintaining high visibility online.
“Growth, branding and expansion - that’s what we want for 2021.” Says Hochet. When asked for his advice on how to grow across borders, he emphasises the importance to understand the requirements of expansion before undertaking the process.
"Make sure you have the right people surrounding you in your core team who know what the company is about. Also, ensure you keep a good relationship with your partners, and that you understand the legal aspects of your expansion.”
Finally, Hochet believes maintaining the balance is key to upholding high quality service throughout a period of growth.
“Keep the balance throughout your expansion so that you can continue to provide the best possible customer service experience in end-to-end supply."
As the brothers always say: “Time is money, we save you both!"