For a number of years, our San Diego station has worked with Isle Surf & SUP, a company that sells stand up paddleboards (SUPs) and surfboards. Pilot handles all SUP imports and nationwide home deliveries. I recently spoke with Marc Miller, the co-founder of Isle Surf & SUP, about how Pilot has been able to help his business.
The SUP industry presents a shipping challenge, as these boards are oversize and can be easily damaged. Marc told me that with his previous domestic shipping partner, they were seeing damage rates of roughly 20 percent. Pilot has been able to work with Isle to improve their boxing and has brought their damage rates down to the two to three percent range. This improvement has meant happier customers and a reduction in the man hours normally spent dealing with customers who have received damaged products or delayed shipments.
In online retail, shipping rates can make or break a sale. And in an industry selling large items that need special treatment, shipping costs for consumers can be exorbitant. However, we were able to work out competitive rates for Isle that—along with a lower damage rate—has allowed them to offer free shipping to its customers. This is a MAJOR competitive advantage, and part of the reason that Isle has been able to take advantage of the recent SUP boom and has seen overall sales growth of roughly 100 percent this year.
The shipping and handling of paddleboards has the potential to be one huge headache, but our team in San Diego has proven that it doesn’t have to be. Congratulations to Marc and team on such impressive growth this year!