Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.
A survey of online shoppers living in major Chinese cities has found that, while Australian goods enjoy a stellar reputation for quality and value, long delivery times are making a third of the shoppers hesitant to buy Australian products.
The research, commissioned by FedEx, found 80 per cent of the shoppers would be more likely to make a purchase if the seller was using an established international shipping company.
“Australian brands enjoy a high reputation among consumers in China,” said Kim Garner, Managing Director, FedEx Express Australasia. “In e-commerce, successful delivery plays an important part in the customer experience – customers want to know that their package will arrive safely and quickly.”
The ability to return orders easily was also identified as a significant factor in purchase decision-making, with 69 per cent of respondents recognising it as ‘highly important’, fooled by reliable solutions for outsized, perishable or fragile deliveries (66 per cent) and fast delivery (66 per cent).
“For Australian businesses to harness e-commerce, logistics plays an important role,” said Garner. Delivery and returns are an important part of the customer experience. That’s why it is so important to have reliable and fast shipping solutions that give Chinese shoppers the confidence to buy from Australia.”
Garner told Logistics & Materials Handling that courier companies should be looking to partner with platforms known to Chinese shoppers.
“Express delivery providers should communicate their offerings to businesses that are marketing and shipping to international audiences,” she said.
“Consumers are looking for more choice and flexibility for delivery options to match their needs, such as day-definite delivery, or more cost-effective options if they don’t need their shipments as quickly.
“With greater delivery options, Chinese customers will be more confident to purchase.”
New Zealand Post will soon pilot New Zealand’s first multi-brand subscription parcel delivery service, Shipmate.
In return for an upfront payment, shoppers will be entitled to an unlimited number of purchases with no delivery fee from participating online retailers.
“We’re excited about this new innovation in the New Zealand market and are delighted that four of The Warehouse Group’s brands will be the first to offer the service to their customers,” said NZ Post’s head of Customer Strategy, Brendan Thawley.
He added that the move is a result of NZ Post listening to its customers and developing new initiatives to create value for them.
“A shared problem for both parcel senders and receivers is that often consumers want to buy small things online but the cost of shipping is too high relative to the purchase,” Thawley said. “We’re working to deliver solutions for both of these groups.”
Pejman Okhovat, CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, said the move forms part of The Warehouse Group’s mission to become New Zealand’s leading online retailer.
“Customers have been asking us for better online delivery options, and along with our two-hour delivery trial earlier this year, we’re looking forward to further improving our offering with more developments to be rolled out in the coming months,” said Okhovat.
The service is starting small – a two-month trial with a maximum of 5,000 customers – and away from a peak period such as Christmas to give NZ Post and The Warehouse opportunity to learn more, Thawley explained.
Eligible deliveries will include those for personal use, below 0.125m3 and 25kg, and South Island or rural addresses and not covered at this stage, and NZ Post has invited residents to sign up online.
While the Shipmate service is targeted at the domestic market, NZ Post is also working with New Zealand companies to help them grow their export markets, Thawley says.
Rumours that ecommerce company Amazon has chosen to house its first Australian distribution centre (DC) in Dandenong, Victoria, have been officially confirmed today, as reported by various news sites including Gizmodo.
The 24,000m2 Dandenong South facility is housed in the Pellicano M2 Industry Park, Amazon said in a statement this morning, offering easy access to several major transport links including the South Gippsland Highway, the Monash Highway and Eastlink. The Queensand Times reported that an executive from Amazon’s German operations – Rocco Braeuniger – will take on the role of Country Manager for Amazon’s Australia website in the coming months.
“We are thrilled to be creating hundreds of new roles in Dandenong South,” said Robert Bruce, Director of Operations – Australia, Amazon.
“This is just the start. Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace.”
A recent survey has confirmed that parcel delivery has a major impact on consumer decisions.
The survey, conducted by IT firm Localz, questioned consumers across Australia, the UK and the US on last-mile delivery.
The survey found that 94 per cent of customers would choose a different shop or brand based on different delivery options.
Survey respondents shared that their biggest delivery bugbears were long delivery windows and ‘we missed you’ cards.
Almost four in five respondents noted that they considered an acceptable delivery ‘window’ to be two hours or under. Receiving an accurate ‘estimated time of delivery’ was shown to be a big deal, rated ‘very important’ by 47 per cent of customers, and ‘important’ by another 36 per cent – only one per cent of respondents said an accurate delivery time estimation was ‘not important’.
“If Aussie business intends to compete with the impending introduction of Amazon, and more competition generally, they need to think hard about their delivery transport,” commented Walter Scremin, General Manager, Ontime Delivery Solutions.
“You might have a great product line but if you can’t get it to customers in a timely, professional fashion they will try your competitors.”
He added that too many Australian businesses rely on courier companies for delivery. “Couriers can play a useful role for small, ad-hoc delivery orders,” he said. “But if your business is managing large numbers of regular orders, or needs to ship large, unusual or fragile parcels, you would be crazy to trust that to a courier company.
“Couriers are not set up to focus on a unique business, making it incredibly difficult to achieve consistent, high-performing deliveries.”
Small business operators have raised concerns with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, noting that Australia Post appears to be providing volume discounts to big customers sending large amounts of parcel mail.
Carnell is currently considering options to level the playing field for small businesses.
“Concerns have been raised with me by small business operators regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales,” she said.
“One of the biggest barriers that small businesses face online is the cost of sending parcels.”
In one example given, a music shop in regional South Australia was quoted $75 to send a small guitar to a post office in North Queensland, while a larger competitor was able to offer free postage.
“I am examining options to level the playing field for small business to compete fairly with big business when it comes to sending goods within Australia,” Carnell added. “One option may be to establish a buying collective.
“In many cases, the online presence of a small business enables a physical store to remain open in suburbs and regional towns where it might otherwise not be viable.
“A physical store contributes to council rates, vibrancy and economic activity, which are all vital to the sustainability of local communities.”
The widening gap between customer demand for improved online shipping and retailer capabilities is leaving businesses vulnerable, according to new research from Temando, as the arrival of e-commerce giant Amazon.com later this year promises to revolutionise the online market on a never-before-seen scale.
Temando’s annual State of Shipping in Commerce survey of 258 retailers and 1,279 online shoppers in Australia highlights that while 65 per cent of consumers said they abandoned their cart due to the high cost of shipping, 61 per cent of retailers struggle to manage the increasing cost of carrier rates.
Carl Hartmann, co-founder and CEO of Temando, said as the competition is heating up between local retailers and the coming of Amazon, there’s a golden opportunity to drive innovation faster on our shores.
“Smart retailers have their foot on the gas and are using the arrival as a huge opportunity to streamline their processes, optimise logistics and embrace digital transformation to put them in a prime position to not only survive, but thrive,” said Mr Hartmann.
Consumer demand for seamless shipping to complete their online shopping is growing, as up to 57 per cent of shoppers will buy from competing stores when retailers fail to provide relevant shipping options to suit their needs.
“Shipping is sometimes overlooked in favour of marketing and packaging, but as we enter a post-Uber age, it isn’t just a ‘back-end’ issue anymore, but a front-and-centre priority to enrich customer service and fuel growth,” said Carl. Shoppers aren’t looking back from best-in-class shipping
In-demand shipping options that cater to convenience such as ‘specified time slot’ (50 per cent), ‘same-day’ (41 per cent), ‘weekend or after hours’ (44 per cent) and ‘hyperlocal’ (37 per cent), is offered by less than a quarter of retailers currently.
A negative shipping experience is enough to put off 59 per cent of customers from shopping with that retailer again, while 80 per cent of shoppers will repeat purchase if they enjoyed the service.
68 per cent of shoppers said they’ll shop more online for free shipping, with up to 65 per cent willing to increase their basket size to qualify for a free shipping offer. Yet only 26 to 39 per cent of retailers use ‘free shipping with a minimum spend’ as a conversion tactic.
“We’ve found Australian shoppers react more strongly to delivery service compared to American shoppers. New alternatives to standard and express delivery have been largely unmet this year compared to 2016, which opens up enormous opportunity for retailers to re-imagine their retail operations and create meaningful, cost-effective customer service,” Mr Hartmann said. Failure to innovate processes reduces ability to perform
51 per cent of retailers acknowledge that technology platform compatibility is an issue, with 58 per cent finding integrating carrier services into their systems a key challenge.
47 per cent of retailers acknowledge challenges with shipping and fulfillment automation, while 37 per cent felt the same about shipping from store. Yet only 29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively are planning to invest on improving these issues in the next 12 months.
72 per cent of retailers grapple with the accuracy of international shipping costs, with only 21 per cent having the ability to charge all applicable duties and taxes for international customers in the cart.
“Using smart technology to streamline processes will help to remove some of the key fulfillment challenges retailers are facing now and in the future. How businesses evolve with this changing landscape will influence how far their business grows, and how fast they scale,” said Mr Hartmann. Rising consumer expectations linked to tech adoption
The popularity of new food delivery services influenced 59 per cent of high spenders who expect to have hyperlocal shipping as an option when shopping online.
23 per cent of shoppers are using their mobile devices as their primary shopping tool, with Millennials being the highest adopters at 48 per cent, while Gen Z sits at 29 per cent.
Access to a wide choice physical and online stores has given rise to two behaviours: webrooming (look online, buy in physical store) and showrooming (look in physical store, buy online), which is engaged by 65 per cent and 51 per cent of shoppers respectively.
“The race for customers is not going to subside and with the imminent arrival of Amazon, Australian businesses should be embracing the challenge. With future growth opportunities existing in the ability to cross borders, its vital that delivery networks and retail operations work seamlessly together to satisfy the customer while managing the bottom line,” Mr Hartmann said.
Melbourne delivery tech start-up Passel will soon launch an innovative delivery platform in Australia that will offer same-day delivery for consumers, and will source delivery operators from an on-demand network of locals.
Once consumers have completed a purchase, they are guaranteed delivery within three hours. They way the platform intends to honour this is through a network of on-demand couriers – individuals working in and near to shopping centres.
The system will match those finishing work in and around shopping centres in the following period and heading in the same direction as the purchaser’s destination, essentially enabling people to help deliver items on their way home. In return for their efforts, the individuals will receive a $10 electronic gift card once receipt is confirmed.
Marshall Hughes, one of the co-founders behind the idea, spent two decades working in freight before conceiving the idea for the business due to a throwaway line: “One day, you’ll be shopping in the hardware store and your phone will ping with a message that Mrs Jones, who lives around the corner from you, has just bought a shovel online. If you deliver it on the way home, we’ll give you a $10 gift voucher.”
When no one else seemed to be delivering the model, Hughes decided to do it himself.
“The biggest change I have seen over the past 20 years has been the growth of B2C (business-to-consumer) delivery,” he told Logistics & Materials Handling. “It has grown really rapidly and, the thing is, it’s hard to do B2C well. Traditional freight structures are not suited to sporadic delivery.
“It is hard to predict when people will want things, and with freight you’re constantly trying to balance supply with demand, so you don’t have drivers sitting around doing nothing,” Hughes added.
The platform’s website notes, “Solutions such as drones and lockers only serve to push the problem further down the line, rather than trying to find a better way to get online orders into the hands of the customer.”
“Because of Passel’s opportunistic model, we’ll be able to deal well with spikes and troughs,” Hughes added. “For example, we’ll be able to find people to deliver for us the week before Christmas when it is impossible to get couriers, and the week after Christmas won’t be a problem for us as our couriers are on demand.”
Passel is due to begin operations in September 2017.
The widening gap between customer demand for improved online shipping experiences and retailer capabilities is leaving businesses vulnerable, according to new research from Australian shipping and fulfilment software platform Temando, as the arrival of e-commerce giant Amazon later this year promises to revolutionise the online market on a never-before-seen scale.
Temando’s annual State of Shipping in Commerce survey found that while 65 per cent of Australian consumers stated that they abandoned their cart due to the high cost of shipping, 61 per cent of Australian retailers struggle to manage the increasing cost of carrier rates. What’s more, 57 per cent of shoppers will buy from competing stores when retailers fail to provide relevant shipping options to suit their needs.
Carl Hartmann, Co-founder and CEO, Temando, said as the competition is heating up between local retailers and the coming of Amazon, there’s a golden opportunity to drive innovation faster on local shores.
“Smart retailers have their foot on the gas and are using the arrival as a huge opportunity to streamline their processes, optimise logistics and embrace digital transformation to put them in a prime position to not only survive, but thrive,” said Carl.
“Shipping is sometimes overlooked in favour of marketing and packaging, but as we enter a post-Uber age, it isn’t just a ‘back end’ issue anymore, but a front-and-centre priority to enrich customer experience and fuel growth.”
The survey identified three major areas for improvement in the local delivery offering – shipping experience, smart technology and order platforms.
In-demand shipping options that cater to convenience such as ‘specified time slot’, ‘same-day’, ‘weekend or afterhours’ and ‘hyperlocal’ was found to be offered by less than a quarter of retailers currently, and a negative shipping experience would put off 59 per cent of customers from shopping with that retailer again. Eighty per cent of the 1,279 shoppers surveyed noted that they would purchase again if they enjoyed the shipping experience, and free shopping would entice 68 per cent of shoppers to do more online shopping.
“We’ve found Australian shoppers react more strongly to shipping experiences compared to American shoppers,” said Hartmann. “New alternatives to standard and express delivery has been largely unmet this year compared to 2016 which opens up enormous opportunity for retailers to re-imagine their retail operations and create meaningful, cost-effective customer experiences.”
Over half of the 258 retailers surveyed acknowledged that technology platform compatibility is an issue, with 58 per cent finding integrating carrier services into their systems a key challenge. While shipping and fulfilment automation was recognised as a challenge by almost half of those retailers surveyed, only 29 per cent are planning to invest on improving these issues in the next 12 months.
When it comes to international shipping, 72 per cent of retailers grapple with the accuracy of costs, with only 21 per cent having the ability to charge all applicable duties and taxes for international customers in the cart.
“Using smart technology to streamline processes will help to remove some of the key fulfilment challenges retailers are facing now and in the future. How businesses evolve with this changing landscape will influence how far their business grows, and how fast they scale,” said Hartmann. One in four shoppers are using their mobile devices as their primary shopping tool, with Millennials the highest adopters, at 48 per cent, while Gen Z sits at 29 per cent. Access to a wide choice physical and online stores has given rise to two behaviours: webrooming (looking online, buying in physical store) and showrooming (looking in a physical store, buying online) which is engaged by 65 per cent and 51 per cent of shoppers, respectively.
“The race for customers is not going to subside and with the imminent arrival of Amazon, Australian businesses should be embracing the challenge, said Hartmann. “With future growth opportunities existing in the ability to cross borders, its vital that delivery networks and retail operations work seamlessly together to satisfy the customer while managing the bottom line.”
An innovation recently launched in China could be a sign of things to come in the home-delivery space. The ‘smart logistics express’ project from the Guangdong-based iBosst encompasses a project dedicated to building a smart logistics express cable rail system covering urban and rural China, aiming to achieve nationwide same-day delivery and city-wide one-hour delivery, halving the cost through a ‘cable rail + shuttle robots’ pattern.
The company is currently developing its ‘IAB’ (Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Bio-pharmaceutical) project.
In May 2017, the first 15km ‘smart express’ was completed in Xin’an Town, Huazhou City, Guangdong Province, China, providing a pilot solution for supply innovation in the logistics industry. Based on low-altitude static cable rails, the express forms an ‘expressway’ in the air to carry unmanned shuttle robots loaded with small amount of goods within 100kg. It allows the robots to make turns and shunt, making it possible to deliver the parcels to their destinations rapidly with low energy consumption and low cost.
Ma Yasheng, Chairman, iBosst, noted that the completion of the smart express was a process of continuously challenging “impossibilities.”
The current construction cost of the smart logistics express is RMB150,000 ($29,000) per kilometre, and less than RMB100,000 ($19,000) per kilometre after mass production.
Ma noted that after launching the first smart express, iBosst will continue to improve its advantages in logistics cost, efficiency, smart transportation, promoting the deployment of new tracks and networks of smart logistics nationwide and extending value-added services in warehousing, payment, finance and big data.