Send My Bag is a door-to-door luggage delivery service that allows you to arrive at the airport without any bags and travel to your hotel hands-free. Globetrender speaks to the company’s CEO, Adam Ewart, about how he is transforming the way we fly by transporting your suitcase directly to your destination.

What is Send My Bag and how does it work?

My 32-strong team work around the clock to help travellers enjoy the smoothest possible journey – and take cumbersome luggage out of the equation.

We pick up your bag from you before you travel and deliver it directly to your end destination, in 145 countries around the world. This means you skip check-in at the airport, the dreaded baggage carousel wait, and no longer have to carry the physical burden of your belongings.

The service is popular with holidaymakers, business travellers and anyone who is relocating. Send My Bag runs over 10,000 routes worldwide as well as domestic services within the UK and USA.

Why is it innovative?

I set up Send My Bag after I was charged a rip-off excess baggage fee by a budget airline. A quick scan on Google showed me that no one was challenging the airlines on their excessive costs, so I registered the Send My Bag domain name that evening, and the business took off from there.

Our in-house technology and global partnerships allow us to offer precise door-to-door delivery of customers’ luggage at an affordable price. What’s more, unlike most of the travel industry, our prices are constant and reliable; it costs the same rate in peak and off-peak seasons.

Our website and luggage-tracking app are simple and user-friendly but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. From automating customs processes in far-flung destinations to allowing customers to track their luggage worldwide via the app, we make sure we’re one step ahead of the curve with our innovative technology.

How does it change the way we travel?

Put simply, it means you never have to lug your belongings from A to B again. This makes travelling even more convenient – everyone has horror stories about a time they (or someone they know) lost, dropped or struggled to carry their luggage.

For some people, the weight and size of luggage can be prohibitive. We’ve attracted over 27,000 reviews and people call it anything from a money-saving measure to a life-changing service that has allowed elderly or disabled customers to travel again.

How much does it cost?

Send My Bag now operates in 145 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe, as well as domestic services in the UK and USA. Prices start at £17 for the UK domestic service.

Some of most popular routes are UK to Europe; you can send 30kg door-to-door to France for just £30. Our transatlantic service, US to Europe, starts at just US$99, which is significantly more affordable than checking in an extra bag at the airport using one of the so-called “budget” airlines.

Who is it targeted at?

Our customer base is as diverse as the cross-section of travellers you find on a plane. Send My Bag is targeted at anyone who wants a convenient, affordable way of getting their belongings from A to B – whether that’s for a holiday, an activity (we’re especially popular with skiers and golfers), a business traveller, or anyone relocating.

How many bags have you transported so far?

In the past 12 months, we’ve shipped over 250,000 bags and we’re on track to hit the million mark in the next few years.

What happens if the bag gets lost?

About 1.5 million bags go missing on airlines every year so travellers are right to be concerned about the potential for lost luggage.

We scan bags regularly throughout their journey. Unlike airlines’ reliance on flimsy sticky labels, we have some spectacular heavy-duty, rip-proof label holders. For peace of mind, we also offer complimentary loss cover with every bag.

Why is now a good time to run this service?

The dynamics of the aviation industry are rapidly changing; the difference between “budget”, mid-market and high-end airlines is shrinking with every year.

There’s no greater marker of this than the presence of ancillary charges, the “added extras” travellers must pay for. This ranges from food on short-haul British Airways flights, the luxury of sitting next to someone you know on an Easyjet plane, or having to pay to keep hold of your hand luggage on Ryanair.

Analysts agree that these extra costs are only going to rise as airlines prepare to “buffer” Brexit market fluctuations.

This provides a fantastic market opportunity for Send My Bag to thrive. Most people can’t realistically travel using hand-luggage, and airline revenue from baggage handling has increased from US$400M in 2007 to over US$4 billion in the US in the last 12 months. This is a global trend and Send My Bag offers a reliable, affordable alternative.

What are your plans for growth?

I’m proud to announce that Send My Bag recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade. The award highlights our growth to date – in just  three years, we increased international revenues by 287 per cent – and paves the way for our continued expansion.

At the time of the award, we generated sales from 97 countries; in the last 12 months we’ve had orders placed in 145. We are now focusing on a nine-digit turnover strategy with aspirations to achieve this in the next six years.

What can other travel entrepreneurs learn from you?

My two pieces are advice are: be money-conscious and have faith in your abilities.

A common misconception is that you need serious financial backing to be successful. Send My Bag is a self-funded start-up; after raising £100,000 in initial funding the business harnessed its own growth revenues, positive cash flow and profitability to expand internationally at a rapid rate without external financing.

You don’t need to raise money for the sake of it – and even though the business is successful, I’m always mindful of good value, profits, and keeping a close eye on the accounts.

I also think a successful travel entrepreneur looks out for opportunities and has faith that when the right idea hits, you have the skills to make it work.

I haven’t always been in the travel sector; I used to run a music retail and export business, but I knew it wasn’t going to make me millions. What it did allow me to do is build the crucial entrepreneurial skills that allowed me to maximise every Send My Bag opportunity, from marketing to the basics of freight services.

Ultimately, have faith, and never stop learning – you’ll never know when the new skills will come in handy.

For travel trends delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for the Globetrender newsletter.