Nicolas Rahmé: DocShipper Is a Supply Chain Startup That Supports Its Customers Throughout the Complex and Archaic Import/Export Industry

September 3, 2022

DocShipper is a supply chain startup that supports its customers throughout the complex and archaic import/export industry. From procurement to international transport and 3PL, DocShipper is the single point of contact for its customers.

We simplify the import/export industry through digitalization so that our customers can focus on growing their business.

We have a unique business model that combines 3 departments to fully master the product cycle:

  1. Sourcing to help companies with their procurement process (supplier search, quality control, compliance…)
  2. International logistics to meet freight needs (transport, packaging, customs clearance…)
  3. 3PL to support E-Merchant in their logistics (storage, order processing, Last-Mile Delivery…)

Tell us about yourself?

After studying at a business school in Paris, I graduated with a Master’s degree in 2015. I have always been passionate about new technologies, the world of startups, but also much more concrete sciences like geopolitics, finance, and economics.

This is why I have embarked on an entrepreneurial journey in the import-export world through Siam Shipping, a company I have worked on for many years.

Originally, it was a digital freight forwarder based in Thailand. But very quickly, the project was very successful and went beyond the frontiers of this country to expand throughout ASEAN and China via different brands (Sino Shipping, FNM Vietnam, FNM Malaysia, FNM Group).

After 6 years of work on the business model, more than 3 different legal structures and brands, 2 former partners and with this solid experience, I decided to co-found DocShipper in 2018 with a pretty clear vision: to become a leading import/export player.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

– Do not underestimate the difficulty of the HR part – Do not strive for perfection: “done is better than perfect” – Prioritize tasks by level of urgency and not by pleasure – Bet on the team as soon as possible

What problem does your business solve?

When we talk about import/export, we automatically think about a costly, time-consuming, and complex process. At each step, importers (or exporters), face an archaic industry: – They must use a separate provider at each stage of the supply chain; – The market is ruled by giants whose concerns are more about generating profits than improving their customers’ experience.

In this context, the DocShipper group breaks the industry’s codes on a digital AND operational level. The concept: a unique, customized approach that incorporates sourcing, international logistics, and delivery for each company.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When I co-founded DocShipper Group in 2018, I wanted to kick-start the industry and raise the bar! Because, today, the industry is stifled by a few players calling the shots… They’ve taken advantage of their monopoly to completely neglect the customer experience.

Like the majority of asset-light businesses (Uber, Airbnb,…), we are using the power of digitalization to put (finally) the individual at the very heart of our priorities and thus optimize the customer experience.

What is your magic sauce?

– Human relationship is (at last) placed at the heart of business relations: we don’t sell, we assist & advise!

– A unique assistance from A to Z on the supply chain thanks to the unique combination of 3 departments (Sourcing – International Logistics – 3PL)

– An unfailing flexibility – Digitalization of the processes for a higher level of productivity and an enhanced user experience

– A very aggressive digital marketing strategy to tap into the market – A light asset model that allows us to scale the business very fast

– Acting as an auxiliary of the traditional player by handling what they don’t control: customer relationship

The human factor is more important than ever for DocShipper: Transparency, reactivity, flexibility, a dedicated consultant for each client, and of course a professional service… This is what our customers are looking for, and that’s what we are the best at.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We have a very ambitious vision, because there is no real limit to our model, and international deployment can be achieved quickly and economically.

The first phase was done in a short period of time, and more importantly in bootstrapping, which reinforces our belief in the sustainability of the model on a large scale.

The real challenge will be to maintain our growth by hiring the right people: human resources being the most vital part of our business.

In terms of figures, with 3-digit growth over the last years, we are targeting a billion in sales, yes yes! This is not a figure that scares us, the market is huge (30 000+ B USD), we just have to keep repeating what we know best.

We expect to raise funds at the end of 2022/early 2023 to accelerate our global expansion. We are putting the final touches on the shift from a startup-style structure to the multinational that we want to be.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

As I mentioned, DocShipper’s business model is unique in the world and the growth potential is endless. But to exploit this potential in the long term, we need the talent and manpower. Probably the most critical need we are facing is the search for the right people.

This is an increasingly precious resource as it is becoming scarce and expensive. For this reason, we have been opening up our recruitment to the international market and offering more interesting benefits, but it is still a long and lengthy process.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Are you looking for a reliable manufacturer or supplier in Asia?

Do you want to control the quality or verify the compliance of your goods before shipping them?

Do you need a freight forwarder to take care of all the international transport processes for you?

Are you planning to move to another country?

You have a lot of stuff to move, and you don’t know where to start?

You can also reach out to us at +44 330 818 1120. We’re excited to hear more about your needs.

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