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updated on 1 September 2007


Umac's Rod Danan: Leader of the Pack

The Business of Balikbayan Boxes

Overseas Filipinos may be away from home for years working for a better future for their families, but their hearts and minds are not that far from the motherland at any point in time.

Though divided oceans apart, families stay in touch through wonders of modern communications such as e-mail and even videocams, Still, for most Filipinos, love is expressed the old fashioned way. Through the “Balikbayan Box.”

“We deliver happiness and love from America to the Philippines,” says Rod Danan, president of UMAC Cargo of Florida. “Our mission is to give happiness and for Filipinos to be closer to their families.”

“We deliver customer’s goods like food, canned goods, bikes, wheelchair, strollers, clothes, washer and driers, and even refrigerators!” said Danan. “We ship any size of box, we ship almost everything! And here in UMAC we're not just a company, we are family.”

In the forwarding business, customer satisfaction could make or break a company. It pleases Danan that such criteria from discerning and meticulous Filipino customers has been at the forefront of his philosophy. “I feel great, strong and very flattered when you hear someone saying "Ako sa UMAC ako napapadala, kasi mabilis, makakarating ang box ko,” said Danan.

 “We at UMAC feel energized and overwhelmed, na parang you don't want to stop working. All you want to do is to serve more Filipinos in your community 24/7.” 

To be leader of the pack, there are golden rules that one must observe says Danan:

Be Honest.
Dont lie just to get the customer, because they're going to send their box with you for the first time, but on the second time “hindi na sila babalik sa'iyo.”

Listen. We listen to all our customer's complaints; we make time and exert effort para sa kanila.

Provide best price. If our customer is asking for a reasonable discount we always give it to them, Filipino mentality kahit konting discount masaya na.

Fair competition.
Don't say any bad words against your competition. Please work hard and be friendly at all times.

Provide best service. Treat your customers like brothers and sisters. Treat them like your family. We give them excellent and the best service they deserve. 

The forwarding industry is not easy as it seems.

“Lot's of work, you have to be dedicated, you need patience, more effort,” says Danan.

“We work hard and most of the time we work overtime just to get our customers box delivered on time.”

Danan leads his industry in the Southern US states by virtue of the number of cargo containers his company ships every week according to his estimates.

“Right now we're doing well, we're shipping 5 40" Ft. containers a month, each container fits 400 up to 500 boxes. It depends on how you stock it. Plus people know where to send their boxes, to arrive to its destination right on time.”

In the time since he started UMAC in Florida, Danan has gone a long way. Key to his success is his desire to provide the best service he can.

“It feels so good every time we receive a call from Filipinos just to express their appreciation and letting us know how happy they were when they sent their boxes thru UMAC.”

Danan’s word of advice to Filipino businessmen and customers: "Please patronize your kapwa Filipino.” (Basta Pinoy News) 
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