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Author Topic: A new innovative shipping idea called CityZenShip  (Read 2288 times)

Jay Sadie

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A new innovative shipping idea called CityZenShip
« on: August 21, 2011, 04:21:57 AM »

The idea came to me as a result of the extreme high cost of shipping nowadays.  My wife is an artist and she has customers in other cities around the country.  Sometimes the cost of shipping one of her framed paintings to a customer is almost as high as the cost of the painting.  We also have a little side-business that manufactures easels, stretched canvas and display stands.  I once sent a sample to city about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from our home town and it cost me $100 to do so.  The cost of the easel was $30.  We also had another order of around $1,000 where we were quoted anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 to ship the units.  This is what inspired me to come up with a better, workable solution...

Every day thousands of motorists drive between large cities all around the world.  Some even do very long trips, 1,000+ miles/kilometers.  The cost of fuel has sky-rocketed in the last few years.  Imagine you could find a way to help you subsidize your travel costs.  You may even make a small profit.

Enter CityZenShip...

CityZenShip will be a franchised operation, mainly operated by storage companies.  Such companies already have ample storage facilities and are typically located near major roads.

The ordinary man in the street who owns a reliable vehicle will qualify to become a "temporary partner" or "hauler".  All that is required is for the motorist's vehicle to have an approved tow bar.

Let's say you are a registered hauler with CityZenShip and you plan to take a trip from City A to City B.  You contact the main call center and notify them of the date(s) you plan to take the trip. Or, you go to CityZenShip.com and file your "drive-plan" online.

After CityZenShip has matched your trip with a container to be shipped you will be notified at which Depot to pick up your CityZenShip trailer and at what time.

On the day of your trip you go to the Depot where friendly staff will hook the trailer onto your vehicle for you.  All you have to do is to inspect the trailer and to make sure the seal is intact.  You will also receive a GPS-enabled cell phone on loan for the duration of the trip.  It will only allow you to make calls to CityZenShip or emergency services.  The cell phone will also have navigational software on it that will make it very easy to get to the Depot where you have to deliver the trailer.  Once trailer is hooked up you sign some documents and you’re on your way to your end destination.

The Depot where you have to deliver the trailer may be at City B (as per the example mentioned above), or it may be on the way there.  This all depends on the shipping needs and priorities of customers.  CityZenShip will have a clever algorithm to optimize schedules, deliveries  and pickups.

When you get to the Depot where the trailer must be delivered you will yet again be assisted by friendly staff who will unhook the trailer.  One they have inspected the trailer and found that the seal is still intact you will be issued a receipt stating that you have fulfilled your “contract”.  You will immediately receive a cheque for the amount agreed upon (case by case basis, depending on the distance and size of the trailer), or if you prefer, the amount can be paid directly into your bank account via electronic money transfer.

How to purchase a franchise:
  • You must have a secure and established site with storage facilities.
  • You have to purchase at least 10 specially designed CityZenShip trailers.  You do not own the trailer, but rather share it with other franchisees.  Trailers will constantly move around the country and may end up in many different locations.  As a franchisee you will be guaranteed to have an average of 10 trailers per month at your disposal (if you bought 10), or 20 (if you bought 20).
  • You must follow the CityZenShip operational handbook, rules and regulations at all times. The Brand has to be protected.  The customer must have the same experience, no matter which franchise or Depot he/she deals with.  To the customer it must feel like “one” company.

Risks & Solutions:
  • Security
    - Depots must have 24-hour security.  Haulers will have on-loan cell phones to be in constant contact with control center if need be.
  • Theft
    - Each potential “hauler” must be carefully screened.  Each trailer will have an imbedded satellite tracking device and will be monitored during the trip.
  • Accidents
    - Insurance will be provided during the trip between Depot A and B.
  • Breakdowns
    - CityZenShip will partner with road-side assistance companies.  All vehicles will be carefully scrutinized prior to leaving the Depot and may not be more than 5 years old.

Trailers:
  • Will be specially designed to be extremely sturdy, secure and stream-lined.
  • Will be painted in CityZenShip colors and brand.
  • Three sizes – small, medium, large.
  • Will be compartmentalized. Think of shipping containers.  Different configurations, e.g. One large container per trailer, two medium containers per trailer (half/half), 4 smaller containers per trailer (4 quarters), etc.

Benefits:
  • Reduced costs of shipping.  Preliminary estimates are savings up to 50%.
  • Income potential for motorists.  Or can help to significantly reduce travel costs.
  • Additional income stream for storage companies, or others we identify as potential good fits for our business model. Petrol stations along major highways come to mind.
  • Ability for shippers to pack their own goods into our containers.
  • Ability to ship your goods to a location where it can be stored until you arrive, e.g. when going on holiday and you want to ship your golf clubs/bags, etc.
  • Low start-up costs
    - Franchisee will only have to purchase a minimum of 10 trailers, at an estimated cost of around $5,000 US per trailer, which comes to $50,000 in total.  Add to this a $100,000 one-time franchise fee, which will include signage, 10 cell phones and all software and documents needed.
    - Monthly fees:  $2,000 franchise fees, staff salaries (minimum 1 clerk and 2 packers)

Target Market:
  • Mainly slower shipping needs.  It will be difficult to coordinate overnight shipping.  Typical shipping times will be anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.
  • City to City shipping.  Makes no sense to ship short distances (less than 200 kilometers), or to ship to small towns, as the cost of retrieving the trailers will be too high.  High and regular traffic flow is very important.
  • Personal shipping.  Gifts, sporting items, holiday luggage, etc.
  • Manufacturers of smaller products.  Limited to size and weight carrying ability of trailers.  Manufacturers may pick up trailers from Depots and pack it themselves.
  • Companies specializing in document delivery where time is not of the essence.

Customer Delivery Options:
  • Depot-to-Depot
    - Customer delivers goods to be shipped to one of our Depots.
    - “Hauler” hauls goods in trailer to end-Depot.
    - Receiver of goods goes to end-Depot to pick it up.
    * This is the least expensive option.
  • Door-to-Door
    - We pick up the goods from shipper.
    - “Hauler” hauls goods in trailer to end-Depot.
    - We deliver goods directly to the person/company you sent the goods to.
    *  This is the most expensive option.
  • Door-to-Depot
    - We pick up the goods from shipper.
    - “Hauler” hauls goods in trailer to end-Depot.
    - Receiver of goods goes to end-Depot to pick it up.
  • Depot-to-Door
    - Customer delivers goods to be shipped to one of our Depots.
    - “Hauler” hauls goods in trailer to end-Depot.
    - We deliver goods directly to the person/company you sent the goods to.

Thoughts:
  • Extra large trailers may be added later where these can be hooked to the back of trucks.  We can partner with other shipping companies who already have routes they are traveling on a frequent basis.
  • To get CityZenShip off the ground should be relatively inexpensive.
    - Need at least 20 trailers to start (2 Depots, 10 each)  Cost: $100,000
    - 20 GPS-enabled cell phones with specialized software - $20,000
    - Contracts, documents, Agreements, Attorneys Fees - $100,000
    - Copyrights and patents - $50,000
    - Branding - $100,000
    - Marketing and Advertising - $400,000
    - Traveling and Accommodation - $100,000
    - Annual Salaries – 3 Executives: $450,000.  5 Staff: $250,000
    - Central call Center and offices: One year rental: $120,000
    - Equipment and Software: $100,000
    - Website - $50,000
    - Grand Total: $1.84 million US


For more of my own personal ideas please click here...
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 05:53:08 AM by Jay Sadie »
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"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success." - Nikola Tesla
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