Any business owner out there will tell you that importing has always been quite a hustle, especially thanks to the fees that come with it. Thankfully, there is an innovative Australian freight forwarding business helping local traders save big bucks by cutting international freight costs.
Founded by Melbourne-based e-commerce entrepreneur Bridget Speed and her Los Angeles-based brother Andrew Scott, Qannu is Australia’s first fee-free online package forwarding service, cutting the shipping costs for Australian online shoppers and companies who purchase goods from the US.
Qannu (pronounced Kah-Nu after the early form of water transport, the canoe) allows customers to shop from any US website, but pay only one international delivery fee. Here’s how it basically works; single or multiple goods are packaged at Qannu’s US warehouse, and sent to customers in Australia within five to eight days. There are no joining fees, membership fees or personal shopping fees.
Qannu has grown particularly popular with customers of major retailers such as Sephora, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, eBay USA and Macy’s, and unusual or large items, such as car parts or furniture.
How has Qannu been received by Australian businesses?
Unsurprisingly, many Aussie business owners have jumped aboard this Qannu (pun so intended!). Andrew Plummer for example, who owns Melbourne-based electronic goods e-tailer, metro3online, stumbled upon Qannu during an online search and now uses their service every month.
The former marketing executive said Qannu has been a “game changer” for his business, allowing metro3online to place small orders with US suppliers, combine them with others and enjoy much cheaper shipping to Australia. The savings are passed on to customers through competitive pricing.
“The imports we now make were not possible before because most US suppliers have a domestic focus,” Plummer said. “This means their courier rates to places like Australia are lousy and commercially unviable. They are charged a premium by the likes of Fedex because they don’t have scale.”
Qannu has proven a “godsend” to Dannielle Monaghan, who purchases fabric from 30 suppliers in the US for her business, SourPuss Designs, which sells handmade products such as cushion covers, quilts, scarves and headbands.
“Qannu has reduced the cost of my freight by at least 70 per cent and by as much as $1000 a month,” Ms Monaghan said. “My first order through Qannu saved my business $3,700. Since then I have placed more than 100 orders through my post box. I can order as small as a yard or metre of fabric and store it at Qannu and it is still cost effective.”
The innovative Qannu business model has not gone unnoticed with mother-of-three Bridget recently recognised as one of the country’s top female e-commerce talents in Mamamia’s inaugural “Most Clickable Women” awards, which celebrate the brightest Australian females operating in cyberspace.
Bridget, whose extensive industry experience includes senior roles with Disney Consumer Products and Kmart, coordinates Qannu’s marketing campaigns, while Andrew, a former president and chief executive of one of the USA’s largest shipping companies, oversees Qannu’s US operations.