By Claire West

A company in Bolton, that was created to serve eBay traders, has grown into the biggest online parcel delivery service in the UK.

An online parcel delivery was the brain-child of serial wheeler-dealer Fil Adams-Mercer, who set up Parcel2Go in 2002 primarily to serve eBay traders.

Mr Adams-Mercer, whose business career began selling bruised fruit, has developed Parcel2Go.com into a £16m a year business with over 600,000 customers.

The key to Parcel2Go’s success has been the heavy investment in a sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) system. This has cost £2.5m to create, and a further £30,000 a month “and blood, sweat and tears” to run.

Mr Adams-Mercer has designed the company to take and co-ordinate orders that are then fulfilled by Federal Express, UPS and City Link.

“Other companies chase parcels,” he said. “We chase people who may be delivering parcels in the future.”

He is also growing a niche market in the USA. Most American websites will not deliver goods outside the US because of customs bureaucracy. Mr Adams-Mercer has bought a Miami warehouse which British traders can use as their “address” when buying from American sites. Parcel2Go will then arrange delivery on from there.

He is currently studying the possibility of setting up delivery franchises in Spain and France.

Fil Adams-Mercer starred as one of the ‘Secret Millionaires’ in the last series of Channel 4’s show. He was dispatched to a cramped, dirty terraced house in Doncaster to experience what it’s really like to live on Jobseekers’ Allowance.