Business Profiles

by Aramex New Zealand

last updated 14/09/2023

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40 Years… And Counting

by Aramex New Zealand

last updated 14/09/2023

Anniversary is testament to the strength of Aramex and its franchisees

The start of something big: Fastway founder Bill McGowan back in 1983 (below) and Aramex CEO Mark Little with some of the company’s latest EV fleet 40 years later (above)

There is a sense of strength and purpose behind the Aramex franchise that has existed for every one of the 40 years it is celebrating. Starting life in Hawkes Bay as Fastway Couriers four decades ago, before joining forces with the international Aramex brand in 2016, the franchise is easily one of the most recognisable on both sides of the Tasman. 

And with over 275 Courier Franchisees around the country supported by a network of Regional Franchisees, Aramex is also a vehicle to success for a lot of Kiwi enterprises, servicing the courier and freight needs of both inbound and outbound e-commerce.

We spoke to Mark Little, CEO of Aramex New Zealand, just before he caught up with franchisees and colleagues at the company’s September conference, which officially launched the birthday celebrations.

‘If you look at how the Aramex business has evolved, especially in the past ten years, it’s clear that our footprint has grown exponentially,’ explains Mark. ‘We’ve gone from a couple of vans in Hawkes Bay to covering the whole of New Zealand and Australia, Ireland and South Africa – as well as being part of an even-larger global network.’

He sees this extraordinary growth as a true reflection of the company’s ‘can-do’ attitude, and says Aramex and its franchisees have what it takes to keep the brand thriving.

Efficiency through technology

Back when it all began, books of pre-paid sticky labels were revolutionary in the courier business but, as you’d expect, the technology that Aramex franchisees use has become increasingly more sophisticated and efficient. ‘In this line of business if your tech doesn’t work properly, you can’t sell your services – and our technology works very well indeed,’ says Mark. ‘The current system uses scanners and integrated technology that allows new client sign-ups to take just a matter of minutes and means customers need never run out of labels.’

Although New Zealand’s economy has been doing it tough in recent times, the changes have enabled Aramex franchisees to go on growing and capitalise on the steady rise in e-commerce with the help of a highly pro-active sales and marketing support team.

‘Aramex has evolved into one of the strongest players in the market for business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce deliveries,’ says Mark. ‘Our own international inbound clearance system and sorting process for international parcels is a key part of the business that we didn’t have just five years ago,’ Mark explains. ‘It’s a huge reason for our growth, and gives our Courier Franchisees increased density going into residential areas, meaning more efficient routes and greater profitability.’

At the same time, the establishment of fulfilment sites for New Zealand’s many retail e-commerce brands has significantly changed the business landscape, helping to transition franchisees from a local courier company into a recognisable international brand dealing with multi-national customers.

Team effort

The passion of the Aramex Regional Franchisees has been another key to the success of the brand, continues Mark.

‘I believe the biggest contributor to the Aramex business model, and its success, is the fact that so many of our courier franchisees have been with us for a long time,’ says Mark. ‘For example, our 2023 Courier Franchise of the Year is based in Christchurch and has owned the business for 14 years. That demonstrates the strength in the business model and the Aramex support network – it absolutely works.’

Mark says the resilience of the network was put to the test during the first two years of Covid-19, particularly with the extended lockdowns in Auckland. ‘It was a real testimony to how our couriers worked with each other to get through an exceptionally tough period. It also taught us how to get smarter and leaner on some of our systems in order to give more time back into each individual courier’s life.’ A recent Aramex initiative named the Courier Success Programme is now helping future-proof each individual’s business by providing additional training to help them find new business and new efficiencies.

‘When you have passionate business owners all working together, utilising the right tools and structure, that’s where the magic happens – and you create a very successful business.’

Community focus

With success comes responsibility, and Aramex has given back generously to the community it serves. It is an active supporter of child health research organisation Cure Kids, as well as Camp Quality – a charity delivering ‘fun, hope and happiness’ to children living with cancer.

The company also embraces the Kiwi attitude of pitching in and helping others, with Mark admitting he was ‘blown away’ by the support that Regional Franchisees gave to communities affected by recent weather-related disasters.

‘That engagement says a lot about the culture of our business,’ he smiles. And Aramex is also helping address environmental concerns with the introduction of electric vans, and the use of satchels made from 80 percent recycled material.’

Aramex has Courier Franchise opportunities available in many parts of New Zealand. ‘This is a rewarding, satisfying yet challenging industry and, after 40 years, the future looks brighter than ever for Aramex franchisees. To find out more, contact us to arrange a chat,’ Mark invites.   

See this advertorial on page 49 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 32 Issue 3

Contact details for Aramex

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