According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Philippine exports in March 2021 have increased by 31.6% year-on-year with the country’s export growth rate registered at 7.6% year-to-date. Attributed to the rollout of vaccination programs nationwide, which started to allow Filipinos to move towards herd immunity and bring business back to its pre-pandemic state, and eventual economic recovery.
1Export Trade and Services (1Export), the tech-enabled exporting company reports having distributed a total of 3,000 tons of products to 23 different countries translating to about US$500,000 or PHP25M in export sales as of June 2021 — that’s 0.2% of the Philippines’ total exports for the said period.
“It goes without saying that the pandemic has and continues to significantly affect the Philippine economy. But as we move forward and accept the business landscape in the new normal, 1Export is happy to contribute to the country’s recovery by circulating business transactions through exports and helping businesses expand their horizons,” according to Mel Nava, Founder and CEO of 1Export.
Founded in 2016, Filipino startup 1Export is an online platform that aims in helping businesses export better by assisting MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) with various country requirements — labeling, documentation, etc. — so that they could do transactions to their desired countries without losing focus from their core business. The online platform also connects small and medium businesses to distributors worldwide, assuring global purchasers a vast roster of export-compliant suppliers.
To further fulfill its mission of helping micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines reach more markets, 1Export plans to export products to 60 countries by the end of 2022. With the help of its business-to-business-to-consumer venture, Caravan, 1Export is ready to take on the world and empower more Filipinos to resell products proudly made in the Philippines to other markets.
“We leverage on our partnerships like with the DOST — they have hubs. We work with different types of cargo: sea cargo and sometimes RORO’s (roll-on, roll-off) as we try to bring the cost of logistics down from the provinces to Manila. However, when it comes to the freight cost from Manila to the rest of the world, what we are able to do is really leverage our partnerships with different logistics companies by committing certain volumes to different airlines and forwarders to bring down the cost of shipping — making us 20% cheaper than the competition,” added Nava.
1Export currently has markets in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, United Kingdom, and more.
What makes the company unique is that it’s more than just an eCommerce or logistics platform — 1Export takes third-party exporting to the next level by vetting local products to be cross-border compliant, allowing local businesses to follow the laws of the market they want to explore or expand to. Compliance is often one of the most difficult steps to accomplish when expanding to other countries with different policies and laws, so having a reliable partner to handle export compliance can lift some burden off of the shoulders of Filipino business owners.
Moreover, 1Export offers all-around exporting services, covering compliance documentation, product labeling, logistics, export facilitation, and marketing services. The company also provides its clients with intensive business matching services to determine which of their products fit certain markets. By doing so, local businesses can seamlessly expand abroad, boost their brand awareness, reach their target market, and grow their sales. Through its comprehensive services, 1Export has been able to reduce time and costs by 80% for export.
The pandemic may have put many aspects of life and business on hold, but it also became an opportunity for millions of Filipinos to explore entrepreneurship and set up shop with the help of digital tools. With companies such as 1Export simplifying export and e-commerce processes as well, local businesses have all the opportunities and resources they could ever need to not just weather the global crisis but even grow and thrive in the long run.