Multi-tasking is required

March 18, 2021

Helen Guo is new to the On Board Courier (OBC) or hand-carry industry. Her new role as a Chapman Freeborn OBC Broker is complex and while it leverages her strengths, it’s different from her past work experience. In this new role, she is coordinating multiple priorities, travel details, air restrictions, shipment specs, and new online systems. “There’s a lot to remember, said Guo, but I like to think I’m a fast learner.”

Guo had worked previously with Kasey Lam, Operations Manager at Chapman Freeborn OBC, so when he began training her for this OBC broker role, there was already an established level of trust. She has completed her initial training, and Lam remarked, “Helen has already generated about 3 dozen quotes.”

Most requests for a quote begin with a call, email or inquiry from the website. All inquiries for quotes receive a response directly from an expert broker. This direct communication between the broker and the customer results in a quote being delivered as quickly as possible. The more experienced a broker is the faster they can generate a quote. The nature of the business is so dynamic, that the customer typically accepts a quote in less than an hour. The 24/7 level of service requires ‘Next Day, Door-to-Door service,’ so both parties are working at top speed to get the job quoted, accepted and on its way.

Once the customer accepts the quote, Guo notes this in the real-time, secure tracking system. Guo explains, “The next step is the global search to identify the perfect courier for the job with local knowledge and local language skills. Because the couriers are located around the world, many of them have passports and hold multiple visas, some have visas for countries that are traditionally hard to access. As the courier or couriers are identified, I also do simultaneous search for scheduled available flights.”

After she books the airline tickets in a proprietary booking engine, she sends all of the details plus flight information and tickets to the courier. The tracking system will enable total control during transport. “I’ve completed five Chapman Freeborn OBC shipments already, stated Guo, most of them for machine or production line parts.”

The majority of the jobs have been international with a 48 hour turn around. Domestic US flights are usually completed within a 24 hour time period. Guo notes that, “The OBC business is always exciting because deadlines and logistics always present different challenges. With critical documents, machine parts or production line parts, a delay could mean millions of dollars lost.”

She keeps track of her customer’s jobs and so do the global Chapman Freeborn OBC operational offices. This ensures there is always someone available 24/7/365 for the customer. Once a flight lands, the courier continues to customs for proper import processing and then proceeds directly to the delivery location. The exact time the shipment is personally delivered to the designated recipient is advised to the customer. Said Guo, “I am enjoying the challenge. It has been a steady learning curve but soon I will know the customers by name, their needs, the couriers specific skills as well as popularly scheduled flights.”

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