Toine Rodenburg has spent the vast majority of his adult life focused on his two primary passions: investing and traveling. A seasoned international investor and e-commerce entrepreneur, Rodenburg is known as a person of discerning judgment when it comes to assessing the potential value of a new venture. He is an adroit observer of emerging trends — a quality which he has used to his great advantage in terms of investment — as well as a veteran of the original dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

More recently, Rodenburg has been one of the important driving forces behind MyMalls, a premium shipping company with a substantial online component that serves Canada as well as much of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Originally from the Netherlands, Rodenburg is presently based in Lisbon, Portugal, but in the past, he has run his operations out of Curacao in the Caribbean, as well as Miami, USA. But whether it be for business or pleasure, he loves to travel and will hop on a boat, camper van, truck, bus, airplane, or motorcycle to explore a new corner of the planet every possible chance he gets.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about MyMalls? What niche within the premium shipping sector does it fill?

Toine Rodenburg: Certainly. MyMalls is a really interesting cross-border shipping company with a strong online element. After registering an account, a customer can shop at their favorite online retailers and use their MyMalls address as a destination when checking out. They then receive a tracking number and invoice from us after the purchase is concluded. 

When the package reaches our warehouse team, they look it over, making notes about accuracy and its condition, then measure it and store it for up to 60 days. The consumer can send other packages to their MyMalls address during that period and take advantage of our ‘repack and combine’ services. Once this is done and we’ve processed the payment, the combined parcel of goods is picked up by one of our shipping partners, such as DHL or Fedex, and taken either by air or sea freight to its ultimate destination, which is usually the customer’s front door. 

MyMalls is different from its competitors because it has no recurring costs. When a person places an order, they only pay for the shipping on that one purchase, and so on down the line as they continue to use their MyMalls account. The company also provides an online calculator to estimate the total cost before finalizing their order.

Q: Can you provide us with a general read on the current health and performance of MyMalls?

Toine Rodenburg: Sure. We’re currently focused on the Canadian, Caribbean, and Latin American markets, and our market share in each of these regions is growing steadily. I think the fact that our service eliminates many potential cross-border complications and headaches is a big reason for our success. Another big reason is our roster of strategic partnerships with international retailers. Right now, we have deals in place with DKNY, Neiman Marcus, Mango, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Miss Selfridge, Stylebop, Steve Madden, Forzieri, Sears, and Macy’s. I think these special arrangements make us especially appealing to consumers.

Q: Outside of your business career, you’re known to be quite an avid traveler. What inspired your passion for travel, and how has it enriched your life?

Toine Rodenburg: I’ve just always had a desire to see new places and experience new cultures. I think it makes me a better person and definitely a more open-minded one. There’s a Mark Twain quote I really like that can answer this question better than I possibly could: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Q: Do you have a preferred method of travel?

Toine Rodenburg: I’ve actually been restoring my old motorcycle recently. It’s a Harley–Davidson, and it’s taken a considerable amount of work, but it’ll be worth it once it’s up and running. There’s nothing like hitting the road on a motorcycle with no real planned destination. It’s definitely the best way to travel through Europe.  

Outside of the bike, I’ve refurbished a 1992 Mercedes 2635 fire truck into a camper van, and I use that on journeys where the Harley isn’t appropriate. If I’m traveling on the water, I usually use my own boat, which is a 1977 Contessa 32. It’s docked in a shipyard in the UK right now as it’s being fully refitted. 

Q: Finally, as an entrepreneur with enterprises located all over the world, how do you find the business climate in your current home city of Lisbon, Portugal?

It’s actually really great, and getting better all the time. Luckily, the Lisbon area is transforming into quite a hotspot for international business. A great many entrepreneurs have settled here or pass by regularly, as the city hosts plenty of great business events throughout the year. I think I chose my new home well.

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