It’s been a problem in the moving industry forever: how to make money from baggage.
There are some specialist organisations who appear to have mastered it, filling containers to popular destinations with suitcases and trunks. But for most companies, an enquiry for 10 cu ft to almost anywhere, is worthless. But maybe not now.
Daniel Bagguley and his brother, Simon, have set up a new company called Baggage Hub. Previously Daniel worked in the corporate world at Santa Fe and, before that, the brothers owned Wentworth International Movers that went out of business in 2012. Daniel said that losing their business had been traumatic, but they learned a lot then and since. Now they have used that experience to create something completely different that could have significant benefits for the trade.
Every international moving company receives enquiries for small consignments that are uneconomic for them to handle and sorting out the good from the bad can be time consuming. Moreover, customers are increasingly looking for instant quotations which many companies are not set up to provide. As the corporate world moves towards sending people on shorter-term contracts and providing assignees with lump sums to pay for their relocations, the problem is likely to get worse.
Baggage Hub has combined research on the way consumers buy moving services, with technology and the gig economy, to completely change the working model for handling these smaller shipments and is giving international moving companies the opportunity to join in, allowing them to provide a better service for their customers and make extra money as well.
The company is currently handling leads, largely from lead generation companies, for international baggage. The enquiries are fed through the company’s online platform and landing page that imports the basic information from the lead provider and provides each customer with a quotation within 30 seconds. A team of operators at the company’s HQ near Slough in Buckinghamshire, UK, handles customer queries and follow-ups.
Once booked, the collection is made through the company’s network of drivers and van-and-man operators and shipment is handled through worldwide couriers. Drivers are offered pick-ups via an app and can choose the collections that best fit their workload and routing. Currently the company is handling around 3,000 enquiries a month using the system. “We can use couriers economically because our volume gives us massively discounted rates,” said Daniel.
The system also allows customers to track their booking, so they can see where the driver is and when he will arrive, and to track the shipment to its destination. They can also upload all the necessary documentation online and have their questions answered automatically. If, on collection, the consignment is not as described, the driver can update the quotation on the doorstep.
Daniel said that Baggage Hub has recently been receiving enquiries from moving companies who want the company to handle some of their own, otherwise uneconomic, baggage enquiries. Daniel said that they have now decided to go one better and offer movers a seamless service.
“We are now offering a ‘white label’ service to moving companies,” he said. “We will give them access to our system and allow them to brand it themselves. Their baggage enquiries will be automatically fed through Baggage Hub without any involvement from the company. They will receive a 10% fee from us and we will take care of everything for them.”
The company says that there is no reason for consignments to be limited to personal effects: any commodity could be handled in the same way. It’s also possible to handle consignments of up to five cubic metres, that require packing and the pre-delivery of materials, using the same process.
For years, moving companies have been throwing away perfectly good enquiries because they were uneconomic to service. Baggage Hub could, for many, be an opportunity to capitalise on a previously unused asset. For more information go to: www.baggagehub.com or email: Daniel.Bagguley@Baggagehub.com
Photo: Simon and Daniel Bagguely
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