Proper Ways to Deliver Products to Your Customers

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Customers have always put the quality of the product they purchase under special scrutiny and rightfully so. For business owners, that means they need to constantly improve this most important aspect and people are now quite aware of that fact. What remains neglected in many cases, though, are some other aspects of purchase, which are very closely related to the whole shopping experience.

Customer is always right

As customers now tend to view shopping as a combination of various elements, sellers have more things to take care of to leave a good impression and gain or keep a customer. One of the features of the overall shopping experience that has gained great importance over the years is delivery. Not only does it have to be flawless, but it should also be as quick and inexpensive as possible.

This poses a great challenge for all companies, especially smaller ones, since they have to find a way to successfully compete with much bigger and better equipped enterprises, without making their end-users pay the price for this battle. So, what are the options available and how can a small, local business survive and improve the shopping experience for its customers.

Streamlining as smoothly as possible

One of the options is to find a direct path to your buyers and deliver your product to them. The problem is how to find them and whether you can find enough of them to keep your business alive. Alternatively, you may offer your products to retailers, without commissioning services from wholesalers. A potential threat here is the amount of time you need to organise the whole network and process of reaching agreements with more individual companies. On the other hand, this method spreads the risk much better, thus providing more flexibility to offer more competitive prices.

Shipping

Usually, small companies start by delivering products themselves and hope that their business would grow enough to allow them to organise the distribution process in a way that would allow them more time to dedicate to product development and other aspects of business.

Since the price of shipping may have a great impact on the customer’s decision to buy your product or not, you want to minimise the expenses. To this end, you can invest in your own delivery vehicle and hire a driver or turn to modern technology and using one of the platforms that allows you to hire independent owners of moving vans and trucks in your area.

The bottom line is that you need to explore all options before making a decision. If you operate with a higher profit margin, you might be able to offer free shipping, which is a great incentive for many customers. On the other hand, if your margin is already quite low, you must make sure you don’t jeopardise your business by offering a price for shipping that is too low.

Fulfillment

One you’ve developed a loyal and stable customer base, you should at least consider hiring a company to deal with receiving orders and shipping out products. Such fulfillment companies offer services related to product storing, credit card processing, packing and delivering, sending e-mails to customers and dealing with returned products.

A thriving business understands the importance of such activities, but can’t afford to waste too much resources on them. Still, chances are that a third-party company will not approach the task with the same passion as those whose name is on the label of the package. That’s why you need to be heavily involved and monitor the process from the beginning to the end.

As you can expect, the list of things you need to consider does not end here. Still, you can’t deny the importance of these seemingly peripheral aspects of shopping experience to the overall satisfaction of your client. So, try getting it right from the start.

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The Right Way to Pack Your Electronics when Moving

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There are so many things you need to consider when moving home, including setting the date, finding a professional moving company or enough friends willing to give hand and many other aspects. One of the critical steps in the whole process is packing fragile and sensitive items.

Your glass and china object require the highest level of care and protection, but you also need to provide the same treatment to your electronic equipment. So, what needs to be done to ensure that your valuable possessions make it to their destination in perfect condition and without any damage whatsoever?

Wires

Once you turn off your appliances and unplug them, you need to remove the cords and wires if possible. Next, use twist ties to secure them and make sure you label them correctly. This will help you both pack and unpack with as little stress and fuss as possible. It might be a good idea to pack all cords and wires in one or two boxes, since it will help you find the one you need quickly once you start unpacking. Wires do not require special padding once in the box, but if you have some old newspapers or magazine, they can come in handy.

Back-up

If you’ve lost a manual for a complex piece of equipment, you can take pics of the wire hook-ups from different positions, so that you get a clear picture. You can also sketch or write down the steps you took while dismantling the equipment. Then, simply follow the instructions backwards when reassembling the equipment and you should be OK. It is a good idea to keep all the pics organised in separate folders for each piece of equipment you have, because you may not remember what equipment it was when you see a close-up of various wires protruding from the back cover.

No such thing as too much protection

Ideally, you should use the original packaging and padding. This will not only help your item stay protected during handling, but also prove a point to all those who’ve been mocking you for keeping all the original packages in the garage. In case you’ve thrown away the packaging or can’t find it, you can purchase special boxes from a moving company or use sturdier cardboard boxes. You need to provide sufficient padding with anti-static soft material. For example, old newspapers and magazines are a bad idea because they might scratch screens.

You need to make sure you’ve protected your equipment from all sides and labelled the boxes with “FRAGILE”, “HANDLE WITH CARE” or some other words of caution, so that those carrying the boxes pay extra attention.

Manuals

Just like cords and wires, they should be packed in the same, clearly labelled box. In case you can’t find the original hardcopy, you may download an electronic version and have it ready on your phone, tablet or laptop. You may want to keep them in the same folder where you keep photos of the wires. That should also save you some time trying to figure out how to assemble your electronic equipment.

What material to use for wrapping?

As we said, paper may actually damage some parts of your equipment, which is why you should get enough bubble wrap, preferably the anti-static one. Wrap individual parts before you put them in the boxes, but try to provide additional padding, which would put your mind at ease. Also, it’s wise to invest in shrink film, which you would use to wrap your most valuable possessions, thus providing protection from possible rain. There’s nothing you can do about the weather on the day you need to move, but there’s a lot you can do about prevention and protection.

What you need to understand and bear in mind is that it’s almost impossible to protect your electronic equipment too much. It’s much greater risk to provide insufficient care and have your equipment exposed to possible damage due to either negligence or a unfortunate event.

Also, the damage that may occur can be so expensive that you might not be able to afford to repair it, especially since your budget will be very tight due to the whole moving process. So, be smart and cautious and protect your most beloved electronic equipment. If you pack and label everything properly, you can rest assured that the person driving the moving van of your choice will deliver everything in a perfect condition.

The Essentials of Moving with Pets

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Moving is almost never a fun activity, even when you’re just changing neighbourhood. But, when you add pets to the equation, the thought of your scheduled moving day may become the stuff of nightmares. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. As always, some planning ahead can save you a lot of trouble and make this process less stressful. Remember that pets are like emotional magnets – they can sense your emotions and mirror them, so make sure you come up with a good plan and stick to it. Here are some essential tips to get you started.

Call your vet

Your vet is your best ally when it comes to taking care of your pet and moving isn’t an exception. First of all, determine if that vet is going to still be your vet when you move across town. If it’s too far, ask your vet to recommend a colleague close to your new home. If you’re about to change the vet, which might turn out to be no laughing matter, you’ll need to transfer your pet’s medical records and vaccination certificates.

Next, update your pet’s identification tag and the information on the microchip. Don’t wait to move to do this – due to stress, your pet is more likely to run away so you’ll want it to have the right address. Travelling even a small distance within the same city can be very stressful to your pet, so ask your vet to prescribe some mild sedatives.

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Prepare for the trip

Pack all of your stuff on time and use Transfervans to find a reliable mover. Once you got this covered, you should start preparing for the transfer of your family and pets. Try to keep your normal schedule on a moving day. Pets love routine, it makes them feel secure, so give them  food or take them for a walk at the same time as you always do.

Sedated or not, your pets shouldn’t be able to run free in the car – it’s just not safe for driving. Groom your dog a week before moving to prevent any unpleasant odours and excessive shedding. If you know your pet gets anxious in the vehicle, keep something familiar at hand – their favourite toys, bed or blanket, and, of course, treats. As for the food and water, keep them on hand, too, regardless of the distance you’re about to travel.

Double check your new home

Inspecting a house/apartment for pests and dealing with it is a must before moving into a new place. It’s good both for your own and your pets’ health. They’ll get curious about their new residence and wish to sniff every corner of it, so you’ll want it to be as safe as possible.

The same goes for your new backyard – inspect it carefully and make sure totally safe for your dog or cat. Remove any harmful items or chemicals and check any escape routes – remember that your pet will be confused and need time to adapt. Keep them inside the house for a few nights and gradually allow them to spend time outside. If it’s going to take some time before moving into your new home, you’ll probably need to stay in a hotel or with family/friends. Either way, make sure your temporary accommodation is pet-friendly.

Pamper your pet

As we’ve already mentioned, pets can sense your emotions and respond to them. Just like humans, they need extra care when hard times come, so make sure you spoil your pet during the process of moving. Feed them their favourite food, lay out items familiar to them and, what’s most important – spend some time with them. Let them learn about their new surroundings – take them for a long walk, introduce them to a nearby park, and let them find their place in your new backyard. They need to associate your new home as a positive place and those things take some time and patience.

When moving, you should treat your pet as you would treat a family member – be extra careful, have patience, and let them adapt. After that, all you have to do is to enjoy your new home with your beloved animal.

 

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Debunking the Most Common Moving Myths

image02In many cases, moving home means you’re making progress, creating better living conditions for your family and setting an example to your loved ones how hard work pays off. There are, of course, situations when things are not positive, but whatever the case, the actual act of packing, transporting and unpacking is pretty much the same.

Naturally, everyone you ask has an opinion on how you should go about when it comes to moving. Some advice is based on experience, some not so much. So, if you consult a plumber about installing a fixture in your bathroom and if you hire an electrician when there’s a need for electrical work, why don’t you trust the opinion of people who move entire homes and companies for a living? Let’s hear what they have to say about common misconceptions and myths related to moving.

Rocket science

Unless you are physically unable to pack, carry, load and unload a truck, there’s probably no reason to hire moving professionals, or that’s at least what many people think and say. Of course, it’s usually cheaper to do it yourself or with a little help from your friends. What you need to take into account, however, is the fact that depending on the number of items and people available, your moving might take way too much time.

Also, carrying an object from point A to point B is basically a straightforward process, but you need to think about how many times will you have to repeat that action and whether you’ll be able to do it. You should start with objects that create an obstacle to people moving around your home and those objects that weigh more. The reason is simple: you’re still fresh and full of energy and enthusiasm. Chances are you won’t be feeling like that towards the end. Moreover, if you decide on a fully DIY job, you should protect yourself from potential injuries.

Driving a rented truck vs hiring professionals

Another aspect that divides opinions is whether you should save money by renting a truck and driving it yourself. It’s true that you’d be saving money, but what about the risk? If you have a license, but don’t have a truck, it suggests that you don’t drive such a vehicle regularly, which, in turn, means that you’re not very experienced.

For this reason, transfervans might just be the thing you are looking for. Our online platform help you find the right vehicle at any time and any day of the week, even on Sundays, and most importantly, you’ll pay up to 40% less than an average moving company would charge you.

Packing

Some say that if you load the truck carefully, you don’t need to be particularly careful about protecting individual items. Nothing can be further from the truth! All your valuable possessions need to be wrapped and protected appropriately. You should also wrap up your carpets if you’re taking them, since they can get dirty and stained easily.

Furthermore, if you have some really fragile and valuable pieces, you need to take extra care of them and make sure you have enough bubble wrap. The most critical part is the actual drive from your old to the new home because any sudden braking or swerving can damage and break your belongings easily.

The almighty boxes

Many people don’t have time to pack their stuff properly or they are just too lazy to do that. Not only is it more difficult to protect more valuable items, but you need to check each one individually and carry it to the designated room. What you need to do instead is clearly label each box, stating which room is its destination and, if necessary, whether special care should be taken while handling the box.

Timing

Ideally, you should avoid extreme heat or cold. Rain doesn’t speed up the process either. However, sometimes you just can’t wait for a season to end and you have to deal with the situation. What you can do, though, is move on a Friday. That should give you enough time for final, finishing touches during the weekend when it comes to unpacking and putting everything in its new place. Also, it might be more convenient to get a day off on a Friday than some other day. Naturally, not everyone agrees with this.

Would you know how to react in an emergency? Are you ready to accept the risk of damaging your own stuff? These are just some of the things you need to ask yourself. As you can see, there are some considerations to be made before moving house and you could do worse than ask for professional help. Even if you don’t end up hiring them for the job, you’re bound to pick some invaluable advice.

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The Ultimate Checklist for a Stress-Free Home Move

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Moving home is undoubtedly one of the most stressful activities, as there are so many things you need to take care of and even a slightest problem can aggravate and disrupt the whole process. While it’s true you can’t anticipate every problem, you can greatly reduce the risk of things going wrong by carefully preparing.

So, if you don’t want stress to ruin the day when you’re supposed to start a new chapter in your life, make sure you use a checklist and start preparing well in advance. Here are some things you should do in different timeframes to make the whole process as smooth as possible.

Two months before the big day

This is when you should have the first draft of your checklist ready and, if you’re not doing the whole thing with a little help from your friends, contact a moving company or, better yet, book one of those affordable moving vans. Next, you need to schedule the date and set the budget, which should include the cost of movers, new furniture you’ll have to buy immediately and the food you’ll be ordering, since it’ll take some time before your new kitchen is ready for use. Finally, this is the time when you need to start collecting boxes and getting plenty of packing tape, since that’s what you’ll need for next steps.

One month before the big day

You need to begin sorting through your things by getting rid of the things you won’t be needing any more. If those things can still be used, consider donating them to someone in need, give them to a friend or sell them.

Make sure various providers (gas, electricity, cable TV and Internet) are informed about the fact that you’re moving. Also, if you have a pet, you might arrange with a friend or a pet sitter to spend those few days with them, because you won’t have enough time.

Inform your bank you’re changing address and, again, try to get rid of as many things as possible before packing and moving. You might have a garage sale and thus boost your budget a bit.

Two weeks before the big day

Now is the time to actually start packing those things that are not essential, and make arrangements with a cleaning company to clean up the place as soon as you leave. The earlier you schedule the cleaning day, the better chances of finding a company that can meet your expectations. Finally, check with your boss if you can get a day or two off for the actual moving day.

One week before the big day

Make sure you properly label each box, writing not only what the content is, but also which room it belongs to. This should ease and speed up the unloading process. It’s also a good idea to number the boxes and know exactly how many of them you’ve got. One box should contain all the essentials that you’ll need for the first night.

This is also the period when you need to make sure you have enough cash for the day of moving to pay the movers and order food for all those landing a hand.

The big day

This is the most critical day, since you have to think about leaving your old home in accordance with the agreement you have with the landlord and about settling into your new home. Once you’ve made sure you’ve left nothing behind, take out the trash and clean up the place. If you have pets and children, this is the time for them not to be with you, since they are likely to cause more problems than help. Switch the lights off, say goodbye to your old home and leave the keys with the landlord.

Before your safely packed belongings arrive in a moving van, you should remember to open any gates that provide access to the building or the house. Make sure you walk through the place with the new landlord before you put a single box in, since you’ll need your security deposit back at some point in the future and you don’t want any disputes to arise.

Your clearly labelled boxes will soon reach their destination, you’ll pay and tip the movers, provide pizza and cold beverages to your tired friends and you’ll unpack your priority box. Depending on the amount of energy left, you may be able to do more, but don’t push it. Your new home is not going anywhere, so get some well-deserved rest and get ready to enjoy your new home for years to come.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thadz/25783833626/

Impact of Sharing Economy on Truck Transportation

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A lot has been written on the impact the sharing economy has had and will have on the logistics and transportation sector. Some have even moved so far as to predict that the sharing economy and the new opportunities it represents will destruct the traditional industry eventually (The New Economy). Others are less extreme in their predictions and talk more about the rise of new complementary business models and opportunities to collaborate (The International Transport Forum; Mckinsey; PWC).

In my view, the transportation sector is well established. Decades of investments, that easily accumulate trillion of dollars globally, are not easily replaced. Most businesses based on the sharing economy (i.e. Zipcar, AirBnB, Yerdle) also exist because they find ways to capitalize on these previous and continuous investments made by the existing industry or private individuals. Hence there should be synergies to be explored between the existing industry and the sharing economy. Let me ask a hypothetical question: What would have happened if Uber and the taxi industry had partnered in the early days. If we assume the taxi industry would have been receptive to new innovations and business models, perhaps both parties would have benefited rather than ending up as rivals. Uber could have saved billions of dollars on driver acquisitions; and expensive head on head marketing campaigns would have been obsolete. However, I did not raise this hypothetical question to encourage further speculation into what-if-scenarios.

I am the founder of Transfervans, which is best described as an Uber style delivery service for over-sized items. The idea came when I bought a new couch from a retailer on a Saturday but was told that they only deliver to my area between 8am – 5pm on Wednesday. Since I am working full-time it meant I would have to be at home the whole day to wait for the delivery. I tried to find an alternative delivery service but did not succeed. Given that everyone we spoke to had had a similar experience, we decided to build a business to solve this problem. Essentially, Transfervans is an online platform that connects customers in need of a delivery with van or truck owners. We solely focus on last-mile-deliveries, which amounts up to 28% of the total transportation cost of goods (Wikipedia). The last-mile-delivery network is also considered the least efficient part of the existing transportation network. Since our launch in June 2016, the market response has been well beyond our expectations.

Businesses such as ours that understand the sharing economy and possess the technical know-how to build popular platforms can create new opportunities that would not be accessible to the existing industry. But the existing industry also possesses capabilities and assets (i.e. optimisation, scale and fleet) that would help newcomers to expand faster and create additional value to be shared.

I foresee the sharing economy to become more embedded into the transportation industry in the future. How soon? That depends on the willingness among both the existing industries as well as so called ‘disruptive startups’ to listen rather than ignore each other. I see real opportunities for us, as well as for the existing industry, to focus on creating synergies and opportunities for collaboration rather than trying to compete or destruct what already exist.

Best way to get rid of your mattress

Mattresses are hard to get rid of responsibly. They are bulky and don’t compact well, practically not recyclable.

So what’s the best way to get rid of your mattress you no longer need? Here are a few ways that we think it’s best:

  1. Sell it on Trademe: This is obvious. If you have maintained it pretty well, you can most likely sell it on Trademe. Don’t want to pay listing fee? Use 4tradeit instead! No fee, no problem, though less traffic there so may take a while before someone takes it.

  2. Give it to Salvation Army Family Stores: Salvation Army have 24 family stores located in Auckland. They are great way to not only getting rid of useful things you don’t like, it also helps keep their organisation running. Win Win situation here!
  3. Break it down yourself: If you have the time, energy and tools, you can easily break a mattress down yourself. Simply follow these steps:
    • Cut around the perimeter of the fabric covering and peel the cloth and foam away from the box springs and wooden frame.
    • Roll these materials into a compact bundle and put them in your regular trash can.
    • Take a saw and cut up the frame, which you can then burn or turn into wood chips.
    • Take the box springs to a recycling centre or sell them for scrap.

And that’s it! 3 best ways to get rid of your mattress. If you need help moving the mattress, please don’t hesitate to get in touch us. You can booking your move here or call us on +64 9 9518705.

How to choose the right vehicle for your move

How to choose the right vehicle for your move:

Choosing the right vehicle for your move is tough. Don’t worry, we have got you covered.

If you are moving only one or two items, your best bet would be a van. Our vans can fit quite a few large items. here’s a list of combo that could fit in a van easily:

  • A lounge suite (2+3 seaters)
  • Washing machine and Dryer
  • Queen bed and mattress
  • 10-15 boxes
  • One room moves

Anything more than one bedroom will probably need a truck.

  • 1-2 Rooms: 10-15 m3 truck
  • 2-3 Rooms: 20-30 m3 trucks
  • 4-6 rooms: 30 cubic trucks-50 cubic trucks

When using the above numbers, though, make sure you:

  1. Count every room! Not just the bedrooms.
  2. Don’t forget your garage
  3. When in doubt, upsize the vehicle, it’s not worth getting the wrong truck, as it’s going to end up more costly and more time consuming if you get a truck that is too small for your move

Good luck with your move! Unlike other movers or truck rental companies, we, at Transfervans, will help you pick the right vehicle for your move. If you’d like more help, visit transfervans.co.nz or call us at +64 9 9518705.

Organising a Delivery – Ask a Friend, Rent a Truck or Book with Transfervans?

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You just won an auction for a double mattress on Trademe. You start thinking about how to get it home?

Most of us are not so fortunate to own a vehicle that is suitable for transporting a bed. What to do? First, think of a friend or family member who has a van. Nobody comes to mind! Surely someone you know must have a car with towbar but does not have a trailer. Easy, just ask your friend to go to the nearest petrol station to rent one. After filling out the paperwork, picked the right size trailer (yep they come in different sizes and not all fit a bed) and paid $40 + deposit, your friend is on his way. 3 hours later, the mattress has been delivered and the trailer has been returned. You empty your wallet for small notes and coins and pay $55.30 to your friend for petrol, use of car and trailer hire. But surely you are also going to shout a few beers for him for helping out. Total price for trailer $55.30 + beers + hassling a friend.

Nah, too much a hassle to ask your friend with the tow bar to help. You research truck rentals and the cost is not too bad – $80 p/day. Do you choose to reduce the excess of $2,000? Nope, you take the risk. Remember to fill up the vehicle with petrol before the return. Should be no more than $10. You need an extra set of hands to help carry the bed, so you ask your friend to assist in return of organising a few pizzas. Lots of time went with picking up and returning the truck. Total price for truck rental and petrol $90 + pizzas + hassling a friend.

There must be a easier way to pick up the bed? You search online for delivery companies. You come across Transfervans who delivers anytime anywhere. It says you can book online. You (1) choose the right size vehicle, (2) enter Manukau as pick-up address and City as drop-off address which is 22km in between, (3) add the item that needs delivered and (4) pay. Hmm, that only took 2 minutes and is confirmed minutes later with a text telling you who the driver is! Total price for using Transfervans $71! And the driver will help you carry the mattress to your door.

Time to invite your friends over for beers and pizzas.

More Flexible Delivery Options Required to Support Multi-Channel Point of Sales Strategies

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The retail industry has changed dramatically over the past few years with increasing focus on multi-channel point of sales strategies to reach customers. The growth in multi-channel has been driven by advancements in tech and an increasingly diverse customer base with some still preferring brick-and-mortar shops and speaking to a real person while others are relying on online and contactless shopping. In July 2016, BNZ[1] reported that online transactions were up 13% from the same month last year. A strong indication that online sales is happening on the expense of more traditional shopping methods. How do the multi-channel point of sales strategies affect customers’ expectations to delivery options?

From product and price to service and delivery

The introduction of multi-channel retail strategies is well aligned with the shift from product to customer-focused strategies. Subsequently customer preferences are shifting from focusing on product and price to service and delivery. Customers are increasingly taking convenience and overall experience into consideration when deciding on where to spend their money. ChainLink Research[2] recommends retailers to rethink the whole consumer buying process from the first point of contact to the delivery and end of sales process; focus should not only be on the point of sale. In a survey of US consumers, Pitney Bowes[3] found that shipping is an important factor when buying online for 93% of the respondents. While price of the delivery is the most important factor, speed and reliability also have significant impact on customers’ buying decision. It is stressed, however, that customers are no longer homogeneous, but have different needs:

“Bottom line. Consumers are unpredictable… Therefore, you need a continuous and dynamic approach to scheduling home delivery. Otherwise home delivery becomes a money losing game”
ChainLink Research

Current delivery options incomplete

Most retailers only offer one type of delivery options for their customers. Often this option is very inflexible for the customer in the sense that the customers have no or very limited choice of delivery day/time. This is not very practical for customers who are working full-time during the week. In fact: (1) most customers would prefer to have it delivered either during the weekends or late afternoons to avoid having to take time off work, (2) Some customers also prefer to have it delivered on the same day of the purchase and (3) Others live outside the shops service area and are not presented with alternative delivery options; just to mention a few customer segments that are not currently serviced well with existing delivery options.

Partner with Transfervans to meet the demand of your customers

Transfervans is specialised in providing more flexible delivery options in partnership with retailers. We already work with 10+ retailers who have benefited from being able to offer their customers’ more freedom in terms of how they want their newly purchased furniture delivered.

“I would highly recommend using transfervans service as I was able to purchase the lounge suite from ifurniture and was able to get it delivered the same day as probably wouldn’t have purchased the lounge suite if this service wasn’t available..”
Ruth, 25/03/2016, Manurewa, Auckland


“The service was fantastic – being able to have our furniture delivered straight away instead of hanging around waiting for a delivery was so convenient. Efficient, hassle free and well worth the fee.”
Yvette, 18/04/2016, Milford, Auckland

We are able to deliver anytime and anywhere at affordable prices. Our service can be integrated with the retail store, so customers can make an informed choice of delivery options based on their preferences. Transfervans booking system is online and fits well with retailers who aim at increasing their online sales or simply are targeting more younger professionals or full-time working customers.

[1] https://www.bnz.co.nz/assets/business-banking-help-support/online-retail-sales-index/pdfs/NZ-Online-Retail-Sales-in-July-2016.pdf
[2] http://www.clresearch.com/media/docs/original/HomeDelivery.pdf
[3] http://www.retaildive.com/news/the-looming-limits-of-on-demand-delivery/416198/