UPS Helps Camping Company Keep Up With Santa’s Elves

Wondering what to get that special outdoor enthusiast this holiday season? New Hampshire-based Jetboil came up with something for campers worried about Jack Frost nipping at their noses.

Founded by outdoorsmen and entrepreneurs Dwight Aspinwall and Perry Dowst, Jetboil has grown into a multimillion dollar business in less than a year. The two were tired of lugging heavy, inefficient stoves when they went camping and decided to design their own.

Campers can now enjoy a quick cup of cocoa around the campfire in under a minute using Jetboil's personal stove, which weighs approximately 15 ounces. Gift-givers this holiday season also can purchase accessories for the stove such as a French press for fresh coffee and pot stabilizers, which adapt the cooking system for use with larger pots and pans.

Growing Holiday Demand

Demand quickly grew for Jetboil's camping stoves after the company received several awards from leading magazines such as Outside, Backpacker, Time and Popular Science. Soon, large retailers such as EMS and REI were placing orders, followed by stores in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Hong Kong and Japan.

Holiday sales at retailers like these can account for 25 percent to 40 percent of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Accordingly, Jetboil's holiday season forecast is in line with the estimate. The company expects sales to jump 50 percent during the holidays.

So how does Jetboil keep up with increased retailer demand during the holiday season?

Keeping Up With Santa's Elves

To help meet retailers' orders without becoming consumed by its own success, Jetboil turned to UPS to pick up its designs and ship them to manufacturers in China.

Samples are made in China, which UPS transports back to the United States for testing. Jetboil then approves the samples and authorizes the manufacturer to make the components. To meet demand for the first product run, UPS ships them on direct flights to the United States.

Throughout the process, Jetboil relies on UPS's suite of software and services to provide visibility to its inbound and outbound shipments. With UPS WorldShip software, Jetboil employees point and click to automatically calculate shipping costs, prepare customs forms and generate labels.

By turning to UPS to handle its shipping, Jetboil has been able to focus on growing its business. "The expertise in shipping internationally isn't where we add value," said Tim Wilson, operations planning director for Jetboil. "So having a partner that does is critical."  - NU

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