A Cheaper Way To Ship To Hawaii

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - January 03, 2007
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Nathan, Andrew, Seth and Christina Riehemann
Nathan, Andrew, Seth and Christina

From the man on the North Shore who orders automobile parts so he can restore old cars with his son, to the business owner ordering maternity products for expecting mothers, shipping things to Hawaii is a little less expensive thanks to Ship To Hawaii owner Andrew Riehemann.

“I’m happy with the level of service that we provide, because it really shows up in the number of referrals,” says Riehemann.

Some businesses don’t ship to Hawaii. When ordering online, local customers know the frustration of seeing that an item they want can only be shipped to the 48 contiguous states. Other businesses may charge more to ship to Hawaii.

This service is not for items that need to be shipped overnight or second-day air.

More people are buying online. Online spending for the holiday season, starting Nov. 1, was $21.68 billion, a 26 percent increase from last year according to an article by Matthew Kirdahay titled U.S. Shoppers Turn To The Internet posted on Forbes.com.

So Riehemann feels his company is on the right track. Here’s how Ship To Hawaii works. When customers register online to use the shipping service, they receive a member identification and a shipping address in California. The customer orders the item to be shipped to California then the company e-mails the customer to let them know the item has arrived. Items are shipped from California to Hawaii twice a week. Customers are e-mailed again when the item arrives in Honolulu so they can pick it up.

To make it easier, Ship To Hawaii allows customers to have an authorized person to pick up the item if they can’t do it personally. For the business customer, several people are sent the e-mail just in a case one person is unavailable.

Riehemann, who maintains his full-time job as a director of technology for a data center, started the business because of a shipping problem he had. When he and his wife Christina were remodeling a home, they wanted a $300 fan from the East Coast. Shipping charges to Hawaii for the fan, which weighed 35 pounds, were $150. Then Riehemann asked how much it would cost to ship the fan to his father-in-law in Utah (who would be coming to Hawaii in two weeks), the shipping price was only $8.

While working to install the fan, Riehemann says he thought to himself, ‘If I could save that much money on shipping, how many other people in Hawaii there might be ordering online or who want things from the Mainland, who I can save money on shipping?’

He worked on a business plan first, and started the company in 2004. Utilizing his technology background, he figured out a way to create the service in an efficient, cost-effective method by customizing a web-based software.

“Our custom software enables me to manage more than 1,200 members as well as balance my books with very little effort,” he says about the software, which became the brainchild of another company he co-founded in October 2006, SnappCode LLC. SnappCode helps small businesses “snap-in” the pieces so they can manage their clients, products, services, schedules, billing and accounting - all in one software package.

“What we’re about is doing the consolidation,

and organizing the logistics,” explains Riehemann.

Wife Christina, an environmental engineer by trade, manages the day-to-day operations of the firm with the help of a part-timer. Customers include families who have remodeled their homes with furniture from stores that don’t ship to Hawaii, and florists that need special supplies.

In addition to air shipping, they added ocean shipping in February 2006.

Riehemann says when running a business with family it is important to discuss things.

“Our kids are the most important thing,” notes the Alewa Heights resident about their sons, 3 year-old Nathan and 1-year-old Seth. “We plan out the day the day before - and everything is communicated. It’s been a learning experience. She’s scientific, and I’m the entrepreneur. Our personalities complement each other although sometimes we come from opposite sides.”

Since Alaska also is excluded from the 48 contiguous states, the family launched Ship To Alaska in June this year.

For more information, call 866-226-6454, or log onto www.shiptohawaii.com

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