Van Nuys, CA and Plantation, FL, June 26, 2012: International Checkout President and CEO, Saskia Chiesa, celebrated her local and regional Exporter of the Year award on June 13, crediting DHL Express, the world’s leading logistics company, with playing an instrumental role in her firm’s impressive 441% growth over the past 4 years. The award was presented at a luncheon ceremony co-hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

Van Nuys, CA-based International Checkout gives international consumers across 220 countries and territories the ability to order products from more than 1,500 U.S.-based Internet retailers with ease, providing payment options in a local currency, multi-lingual service support, duty/tax processing and door-to-door delivery. More than 90% of the U.S. retailers that work with International Checkout are small businesses themselves.

According to Chiesa, DHL Express has been a significant factor in her company’s successful growth since the partnership started over 3 years ago. She recently signed another three-year, multi-million dollar contract with the international carrier to ensure continued access to its global network and exporting resources.

In addition to providing express delivery services for International Checkout, DHL Express’ International Trade and Compliance experts consult with the company on complex Customs and Clearance issues involving the FDA and other governmental agencies. “DHL knows all the intricacies of shipping internationally and has been a tremendous resource in helping us manage complex regulatory issues – which results in the ability of our retail customers to sell a wider-range of products,” said Chiesa.

After moving from Holland to Los Angeles, Chiesa was bombarded by requests from friends and relatives overseas to ship them goods from America. Recognizing the opportunity to provide a much needed service, Saskia launched International Checkout in 2003 as a service to bridge the gap between U.S. retailers and international consumers. 

Chiesa calls DHL “an invaluable, extremely flexible partner” and believes she could not have grown her company to the extent she has without the firm. “My customers rave at their speed of delivery. Their global network and other resources are vast. Both from an account representation standpoint and a business perspective, DHL has truly partnered with us on every level,” she said.

DHL, in turn, has witnessed International Checkout’s award-winning story from its humble beginnings in Chiesa’s Los Angeles dining room to today’s 20,000 square-foot office and warehouse operation. “Now, more than ever before, the U.S. needs exports and jobs – and Chiesa created both,” said John Cornish, SVP/ General Manager, Western U.S. “Not only has she built a successful business model; she has also created new market share and sales for thousands of small business merchants. We have been so proud to support her efforts and will continue to ensure that her retailing clients reach their global consumers as quickly, efficiently and affordably as possible.”

Entrepreneurs and small business owners from various industries competed in the Exporter of the Year Awards from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties and were nominated by local trade associations, chambers of commerce, and business organizations. “I congratulate each and every award winner for their amazing accomplishments,” said Victor Parker, Los Angeles SBA district director. “These entrepreneurs, champions, and resource partner are writing the comeback story for the American economy…they are a tremendous example for other entrepreneurs.”