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Success a la cart
Cellaris

UPS Worldwide Express Freight untangles a supply chain

As a child, I had fun turning cartwheels.

I never imagined one day I’d see a customer go into business … on cart wheels.

It happened for Cellairis, a company near Atlanta, and it’s a wild success story. These three guys in their college years dreamed up an idea: Why not sell wireless gadgets in malls?

On carts.

Their plan? Mall shoppers would unexpectedly discover mobile carts filled with phone chargers and colorful cases and what have you. Impulsively, on the spot, they would buy stuff they really wanted but might not bother to search for in a store or online.

Carts started rolling in 2000. So did Cellairis.

Click image to read case study

Today, Cellairis has more than 700 mall kiosks instead of carts. The company supplies the kiosks, plus big wireless retailers, online customers, and  Cellairis brick-and-mortar stores in retail strips, with merchandise sourced from more than 25 manufacturers in Asia and 10 domestically.

In a business where buyer tastes change with every TV ad, Cellairis ships hundreds of products in 100,000 styles and options from multiple international factories to a thousand retail locations (plus customer homes) on a weekly cycle.

It gets complicated.

In fact, it finally got too complicated. UPS spotted the obvious — a flood of Cellairis packages on loading docks, overwhelming the shipping process.

The account team met with Cellairis executives, learned the shipping process, put some good solutions on the table.

UPS only handled Cellairis domestic ground shipping at the time, but we got a critical assignment. In China, UPS would palletize and pack – to exacting specifications set by a national retailer – 19 pallets of assorted products. UPS Worldwide Express Freight™ would pick the big shipment up on Friday, then deliver it directly to a retailer’s warehouse in time for Monday distribution … to 2,200 stores.

Mistakes? Not an option. Late delivery or mispacked pallets might cost Cellairis seven figures.

Of course, this story has a happy ending. (It’s my UPS blog, after all.)

Our engineers made sure Chinese factories met exacting shipping specs. Then UPS successfully launched all the freight pallets in a single move … and UPS technology let Cellairis track the shipment the entire way.

It came off without a hitch … and Cellairis handed over its international shipping to UPS.

It made me feel like doing cartwheels again.

Category: Business Insights
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    Comments [1]

  1. Hello, by chance do you know who these 3 men are that first thought of this business while in their college years? Names?

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