Young entrepreneur launches new container service

Perth-based importer develops an online guide to take the guesswork out of importing a box from China to Australia

Young entrepreneur launches new container service
Young entrepreneur launches new container service

By Anna Game-Lopata | September 27, 2013

Perth-based importer Trent Osborne has developed a new online product to take the guesswork out of importing a box from China to Australia.

Launched August 13, Outthebox – Container Shipping Expertise

delivers a downloadable guide to importing a container from China to Australia in the fastest possible way.

With a Focus on putting the practical logistics steps in place to move a container, Osborne’s online guide is the only one of its kind.

Available for sale from his e-store, Osborne says the product provides all you need to know to complete the process.

If a client prefers, one-on-one coaching is available upon request, Australia-wide with full access to an expert to provide support through the entire process.

"Ultimately, the goal ultimately is to take the guesswork out of moving a container and make it a process of just ticking boxes," Osborne says.

"We aim to help importers avoid expensive mistakes as well as alleviate frustrations on all sides, which includes helping busy freight forwarders, suppliers and transport companies."

Born in Zimbabwe and growing up overlooking the harbour in Cape Town, Osborne says he always wanted to be an importer, even before he knew what the word meant.

With a passion for international trade, an economics degree and a Masters in Logistics and Procurement under his belt, Osborne set about making his dream of starting his own business a reality.

"After brief interludes in freight forwarding, logistics and procurement, I set up a furniture retail outlet importing entire hotels in containers. This really got me thinking," Osborne says.

"I had a million ideas on how to sell products but actually had no idea where to start other than knowing that all the factories were in China, where I had recently travelled."

Despite millions of containers travelling around the world every day, Osborne says he observed people were never taught the processes behind how importing containers is done.

"I saw the problem as a solvable in that any logistics process is a series of step to be followed," Osborne says.

"The driver in setting my new business was to not only shorten the learning curve and explain the steps and principles behind importing containers but also show how to do it the fastest way possible."

With the help of UK-based mentor Carole Anne Rice and industry expert Philippe Pierson from DHL, Osborne launched the Outthebox online store August 2013 and reports a great response so far.

He says his main challenges setting up the business included mapping the supply chain to Australia from China, setting up the e-store by himself and reaching customers.

However he took it all in his stride.

"I had great fun interviewing industry experts to help put the
supply chain
together," he says.

"Setting up website and e-store was something new and
I had reservations but once I started found it to be surprisingly easy.

"In developing the product the thought of how to reach the customer seemed an impossible challenge but in putting everything online and going live the whole of Australia was accessible which is so exciting," he adds.

Osborne also says very little capital has been required to get the business going.

"It might come as a surprise, but getting an e-store up and running is now a DIY process and to date has cost me under $100," Osborne says.

"The biggest cost has been advertising online which will be ongoing and which I hope to cover though product sales and coaching."

While Outthebox has started with the container importer’s guide to China, Osborne says he intends to add more countries to the list.

"The vision is make the world our shopping basket and to create a community of importers by continuing to take an innovative approach to an otherwise traditional market,"
he says.

"It is really about helping both current and potential importers so they have the tools to make shipping a container an easy and simple process."

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