March 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

BorderJump offers e-retailers a new way to sell into Latin America

With joint venture partner Aeropost International Services, Nashville-based BorderJump provides U.S. online retailers the simplicity of domestic shipments when shipping to customers in Latin America, BorderJump CEO Bobby Frank says.

The lure of foreign markets is a constant temptation for many online retailers, but for some shipping across international borders often isn’t worth the trouble and expense.

Now online retailers have a new way to serve customers in Latin America without having to ship directly to them in their home countries. In fact, some U.S. retailers have been selling products to customers in Latin American without realizing it, says Bobby Frank, CEO of BorderJump, a Nashville, TN-based company that processes shipments to Latin American consumers with its joint venture partner, Miami-based freight forwarder Aeropost International Services Inc.

“U.S. merchants are generally surprised when we tell them we’re shipping their stuff out of the country,” Frank says.

BorderJump signs up consumers in Latin America who want to order from U.S. merchants, then provides them with a mailing address at the Aeropost facility in Miami. For U.S. merchants willing to accept a credit card transaction from a Latin American consumer, a purchase transaction will look like a domestic shipment to Miami. But BorderJump then books space on international airlines to forward the shipment to the buyer’s address in Latin America, where local ground delivery is handled typically within a day or two by Aeropost’s own vehicles or contracted carriers, Frank says.

Because it can aggregate orders to ship in bulk to each Latin American country, BorderJump can expedite shipments through customs and charge relatively low international shipping rates, Frank says.

BorderJump is shipping about 5,000 to 7,000 packages a day from U.S. merchants to Latin American consumers in 34 countries, excluding Brazil, and Frank says he expects that to grow as more U.S. merchants become involved. BorderJump also is in negotiations to include Brazil in its network.

Until now, the joint venture has solicited participation by Latin American consumers. But BorderJump is now also seeking to sign up merchants to place a BorderJump logo on their web sites to let Latin American shoppers click to view full landed shipment costs and expected delivery times. BorderJump will charge a set-up fee plus a percent of purchase transactions for that service, Frank says.

BorderJump is also promoting marketing services in Latin America, where Aeropost is a well-known shipping services brand similar to FedEx Kinko’s in the U.S., Frank says. “It’s all about changing perceptions among U.S. retailers who believe it’s hard to do business in Latin America,” Frank says.

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