ORGANIZED in October 1985, Afreight (Asia Pacific) Limited had one, specific goal: to be of service to thousands of Filipinos working in Hong Kong.
It started out as a door-to-door cargo forwarding company, transporting personal effects packed in carton boxes, fondly called “balikbayan boxes,” from Hong Kong to the Philippines.
In 1985, there were just 26,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong; the figure has since ballooned
to about 160,000 as of 2011.
Afreight Country Manager Rosabelle Woolf said the company is prepared to serve a large number of customers, particularly during the Holidays, when the spirit of giving (and packing more balikbayan boxes) is especially high among Filipinos.
To avoid the rush, Woolf suggested preparing balikbayan boxes as early as July.
“If possible as early as July, mag-prepare na. We already announced that we are giving free storage so iyung mga ipapadala, pwede na ipunin starting July. So that’s six months free storage up to December,” she said.
She said a lot of Filipinos have already availed of this promotion, although some appear to be holding off preparing their boxes.
“Sa 25 years namin dito, laging mayroong nagpapahuli, nag-ka-cram. Siguro mas feel kapag mas malapit (na ang Pasko),” Woolf said.
She stressed Afreight’s reliable service is mostly spread by word of mouth, which helped the company earn the trust of thousands of its customers.
In December 2010 alone, Afreight delivered over 12,000 total packages; evidence that Filipinos happily entrusted their balikbayan boxes to the company to be forwarded to their families in the Philippines.
“In terms of extensive delivery area, we are present in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Here in Hong Kong, we have 13 branches. Mas extensive ang naaabot naming na areas,” Woolf said.
In terms of delivery, normal delivery time from departure is 10 days in Metro Manila; 14 days in Luzon; and 21 days for Visayas and Mindanao.
“Ngayong peak season, may cut off kami kasi ang mga OFWs all over the world nagkakasabay-sabay (mag-pack ng boxes). For Leyte and Samar areas, kailangan nasa amin na ang boxes by November 18,” she said.
For this year, Woolf said she expects a 10% increase in the number of packages to be delivered to OFW families in the Philippines.
Afreight has also prepared treats for its Holiday customers.
“As usual, mayroon kaming giveaways for December para sa mga mag-i-impake for November and December. We’ve done this yearly as a gift to our loyal customers,” Woolf said.
Afreight offers customers up to six box sizes ranging from 24”x24”x36” to as small as 14”x12”x12”.
It also offers packing, home removal and shipping services to HK-based residents relocating to or setting up new homes in the Philippines.