Yes Virginia, we ship to Hawaii
POSTED: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Sometimes one column begets another.
Such was the case with the recent column on Ship & Save, a Missouri-based package forwarder for online shoppers in Hawaii and Alaska hoping to avoid e-tailers' high shipping fees.
As it happens, Colorado-based Aloha Forwarding LLC is slightly longer in the tooth and also has a Hawaii connection.
On the Net:
Owner Darrell Houghton lived on the Big Island for about five years.
"We moved to Denver in May," he said, knowing he and his wife would set up the business due to their own frustrating and costly experiences with online ordering.
He launched in September, after "quite a bit of back-end design" on the Web site.
Aloha Forwarding does not charge membership fees and forwards packages via the U.S. Postal Service, as does Ship & Save.
Online shoppers encountering a merchant who does not use USPS priority mail can have a purchase shipped to Aloha Forwarding. It will forward it for a weight-dependent rate, starting at $4.95 for up to 5 pounds to a maximum of $9.95 for 50 to 70 pounds, Houghton said. Parcel post is also an option and a coupon code on the site offers $1 off for a limited time.
A shopper must go to the Aloha Forwarding Web site to send the company an alert that their package is on the way as well as the address for forwarding.
The company also has an online tracking mechanism.
Seizing on a seasonal promotional opportunity, he recently sent out a news release touting the company's selection as the official package forwarder of Santa's Workshop. "Even Santa Claus has challenges," he chuckled.
Aloha Forwarding and Ship & Save are package forwarders, unlike Hawaii-based ShiptoHawaii.com and ShiptoAlaska.com, which do freight consolidation for paying members.
Not many companies specialize in shipping to Hawaii and Alaska, which Doug Caldwell, executive vice president of Utah-based ParcelPool.com, does not understand.
ParcelPool.com and competing Blue Package Delivery LLC, of Minnesota, target businesses doing large mailings.
"There's no reason why a company should not ship to folks in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico," he said.
If a company has no retail presence in Hawaii, Caldwell said, "that's all the more reason they should have easy and accessible shipping to Hawaii, I mean, they're missing out on market opportunities."
Caldwell thanked TheBuzz for the package forwarding idea. "We could actually do that. Let me kick that around with my people."