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Bridging the World: The Origin Story of International Bridge

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In our latest blog, we shared how we started serving non-con areas 20 years ago. But let’s rewind even further, back to 1986, when the beginnings of International Bridge took shape. Today, we’ll dive into our company’s origins, highlighting the journey that laid the foundation for our commitment to connecting people and businesses worldwide, long before e-commerce became the norm.

We’ve all had moments in our lives when something seemingly ordinary takes on a profound meaning. For us at International Bridge, it all began with a young dreamer and his love for Japanese culture. 

Our journey started with our founder – John (Jack) Farley, who, as a wide-eyed kid driving past Los Angeles airport in California, saw it as a magical portal to other worlds. Little did he know that he would soon embark on an adventure that would change his life forever. At the age of 19, John had the opportunity to live in Japan, and his first visit was a fascinating experience. Japan, with its unique culture and language, felt like another world. Returning home after two years in Japan, John couldn’t shake the feeling that Japan had become a part of him. Seven months later, he decided to visit his friends in Japan once again. 

In 1989, Korean Airlines offered an irresistible deal from Los Angeles, CA to Narita, Japan, with a layover in Hawaii. John seized the opportunity to bring back suitcases filled with used Levi’s, a hot commodity among his Japanese friends. While in Japan, John found a job at a trading company known for importing new Levi’s and Lee jeans. The demand for vintage Levi’s grew steadily, and each trip back to the States brought more orders. Japanese collectors were passionate about vintage clothing, treating it much like a prized coin collection. However, unlike coin collectors, they didn’t just admire their treasures; they wore them, transporting themselves to another time and place. 

In 1996, a Vintage Partner magazine was published under Farley Enterprises Inc. (founded in 1988), sourcing vintage Levi’s, military flight jackets, and sneakers. By 1996, the demand had grown so much that Vintage Partner created a guide called “Wanted in Japan” to help sellers in their quest for vintage items. 

In 1997, Farley Enterprises launched an online vintage auction, connecting sellers in the US with buyers in Japan. The auction was a thrilling success, with collectors shopping through the night. To ensure trust in their transactions, all vintage items were sent to Utah for inspection before being shipped to Japan, upholding the principle of “Shinrai Shobai” or “trusted business.” 

Running the auction three times a week, Farley Enterprises introduced a $25 flat-rate package service to Japan, catering to customers’ shipping needs. 

In 1998, the Asian Financial Crisis posed challenges for the business, causing a drop in demand for vintage jeans. Yet, adversity often leads to innovation. 

In December 2000, John Farley established Bridge to Japan, later renamed ParcelPool and finally International Bridge, to facilitate international package shipping by partnering with airlines and last-mile delivery partners. Bridge to Japan became the IT glue connecting commercial airlines with small package businesses.  

International Bridge was born from the idea that small packages could make a big impact in connecting people and businesses across the globe, still connecting e-commerce businesses within the US and beyond. 

Today, as e-commerce continues to redefine the way we operate, International Bridge stands ready to empower your business. With over two decades of experience, we offer reliable and efficient shipping services that bridge the gap between your products and customers across borders. Explore the possibilities with us and discover how our legacy of trust and innovation can elevate your e-commerce journey. Visit our website to find out more about our tailored shipping solutions and see how International Bridge can be your strategic partner in reaching new horizons. Together, let’s navigate the future of e-commerce and make every package a symbol of connection and success.