Freight: The Hidden Gem for Pak Mail 487
When Tim Kincade and his wife, Rhonda, decided to become the new franchise owners of then-struggling Pak Mail 487 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, they had their work cut out for them. What turned things around? Kincade’s excellence in customer service, his skills as an experienced entrepreneur and a willingness to try new things.
Always on the lookout to add new profit centers, Kincade knew offering freight services would help him stand out from the competition. Few, if any, pack-and-ship stores in the area provide this type of service, he explains, so right away he drew in a big pool of underserved customers. And once the FedEx Freight® box became available to FedEx Authorized ShipCenter® (FASC) program participants, using the box made shipping freight that much easier.
The Right Start
Before he began shipping freight, and because he was uncertain of how to start, Kincade asked another franchisee for guidance. “Just buy a truck!” Kincade remembers him saying. “I was looking for a bigger answer than that.” But the advice was firm. “So I bought a truck,” Kincade says.
“We just parked that thing out front and put our lettering on the side. That, along with our marketing campaign, opened the flood gates,” Kincade recalls. Simply having a truck visible to passersby sent a powerful message. “It let people see what we really could do. From there, business just started blossoming. It’s been great.”
The Pak Mail store uses the truck to retrieve freight from customers’ locations and bring it to the store, where team members pack the shipments and prepare them for pickup.
The added service didn’t just bring in more customers; it also allowed the store to take on bigger, more lucrative jobs — packing and shipping a $45 million art collection, for instance. “I put together a crew, and for four days we basically took things off walls, crated it and packaged it — you name it,” Kincade says. “That put us on the radar for many other jobs in that category since then.”
The Right Tool
Initially, Kincade relied on building custom pallets, but now the store makes ready use of the easy-to-assemble FedEx Freight box. “Those things are just awesome,” Kincade says. Beyond using the box for shipping large items, Kincade notes it’s “a godsend if someone has 15 small boxes to ship. Rather than ship them separately, we consolidate them in one freight box. It's a lot safer, it's all together, it gets there at about the same time and it costs the customer less.” Plus, he says, the sturdy-built box helps protect fragile items during shipping.
He also appreciates how simple and easy it is to use the FedEx Freight box, regardless of the team member’s physical strength. “Any of my employees can do it on their own,” he says. “Seal it up, strap it down and it's ready to go.”
A benefit of the FedEx Freight box, Kincade says, is that it comes with the FedEx Freight service. "We rarely use any other carrier. I have a long relationship with FedEx and great reps who give me very good customer service.”