Logistics company DHL has predicted that delivery volumes in Australia over the 2017 Christmas season will be up 20 per cent from the 2016 season, with peak volumes of overseas parcels expected on 18 December, as a final wave of last minute international orders are placed over the preceding weekend.
“Consumers are gradually turning to overseas online retailers for their Christmas purchases,” said Gary Edstein, CEO and Senior Vice President, DHL Express Oceania. “Online shopping enables them to buy products from around the world that may not be available in domestic brick and mortar stores. And with online retailers now offering a wide range of convenient delivery options to consumers, it’s now easier than ever to fill the Christmas stocking.
“At DHL Express, we are experiencing the direct effect of the move to online shopping, and in response to this, we have put in place a peak Christmas season strategy to cater to this tremendous volume growth.”
DHL’s couriers will be working extended delivery hours six days a week on the run-up to Christmas, adding additional weekend and evening delivery routes and more than 300 additional drivers working in the lead-up to Christmas Eve.
“The teams are the very heart of our delivery operations; our courier drivers, our warehouse staff and the pilots flying our planes all work tirelessly to ensure every parcel is delivered within our transit time targets,” said Edstein. “It is incredibly positive to witness such strong industry growth year-on-year.”
Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) has installed six sorting machines at four mail sorting centres for Australia Post.
The Open Mail Handling Systems (OMSs) were installed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, where they will be used to sort flats, plastic-wrapped magazines and small packages.
They assume the tasks performed for years by sorting machines previously supplied by Siemens.
“We needed to update our existing equipment to handle the large variety of mail coming through our sorting centres, so we selected Siemens’ OMS technology to maximise the volume of product that could be processed through automation,” said Jadd Brammall, Head of Processing, Australia Post.
“The equipment was delivered on time against a very aggressive schedule and our new OMSs have enabled us to significantly improve our efficiency and provide the best platform for meeting the future needs of the business.”
Michael Reichle, CEO, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics, added: “The OMS is our answer to the demanding requirements our customers have to meet, as it’s capable of processing a broader range of mail types and formats than other sorting systems on the market.”
Five of the delivered OMSs are equipped with four input lines and 284 outlets for mail trays and can each sort up to 50,000 items per hour. The sixth OMS is fitted with two input lines and 148 outlets and can sort up to 25,000 items per hour. Barcode readers and printers are used in all six systems.
eBay and DHL eCommerce have partnered with parcel delivery network Hubbed, which provides parcel delivery to its network of petrol stations, convenience stores and newsagents for parcel drop offs and pick ups.
Through the eBay partnership, eBay sellers are now able to print shipping labels and drop off their customers’ goods at any of Hubbed’s 1,000 stores, the majority of which are open 24/7.
The new partnership with DHL eCommerce enables eBay sellers and other Australian online sellers with a Hubbed account to send their parcels to shoppers across 220 countries and territories by dropping off their parcels at a Hubbed store.
“The Hubbed model has put the customer at the heart of the delivery cycle,” said David McLean, Founder and CEO of Hubbed. “The seamless integration of our extensive parcel drop off network with our delivery carriers, and our low flat rates, is an attractive alternative to eBay sellers.
“Our major advantage is our network of stores that operates late – and over 60 per cent operate 24/7. Until now, online sellers were required to drop off their parcels during business hours at the post office or waited around for a pick up. Now, sellers can drop off at a location close by at a time that suits them including weekends. Hubbed completes the full delivery cycle, from domestic and international shipment, to click and collect, returns, and a pick-up point for failed deliveries.”
Charles Brewer, CEO of DHL eCommerce, added: “With online shopping sales by Australians reaching around $20 billion a year, and the number of parcels expected to rise in tandem, both sellers and shoppers need greater convenience and choice in the way they deliver and collect parcels. We are pleased to provide a boost to e-commerce in Australia through convenient drop-off and pick-up points now available extensively across the country to enable delivery to over 220 countries and territories worldwide.”
Australia-based delivery logistics software company GetSwift has appointed Nevash Pillay, a member of telco giant Telstra’s executive team – to its Board of Directors.
Pillay has been in the ICT field for 18 years, 14 years in a leadership capacity.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ms Pillay to our Board of Directors,” said Bane Hunter, Executive Chairman, GetSwift. “She brings a very important set of up-to-date skills, experiences, points of view and networks that will be an important component of the forthcoming company roadmap.”
Pillay noted, “I’m thrilled to be part of the Board of Directors at GetSwift, a company that is innovative, has a best-in-class software solution and adds tremendous value to businesses by improving their customers’ experiences.”
In the early hours of Tuesday, 5 December, Amazon announced the launch of its full Australian online retail operations at Amazon.com.au.
The site stocks products across more than 20 categories – from consumer electronics to clothing, with fast delivery options.
Amazon is offering customers free delivery on eligible orders above $49, and one-day delivery in select areas across Australia.
Amazon expects to launch its ‘Prime’ shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits in Australia in mid-2018, and the company is directing customers to register online for more information.
“Focusing on customers and the long term are key principles in Amazon’s approach to retailing,” said Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager, Amazon Australia.
“By concentrating on providing a great shopping experience and by constantly innovating on behalf of customers, we hope to earn the trust and the custom of Australian shoppers in the years to come.”
The selection at Amazon.com.au includes products offered by large Australian brands, as well as small and medium-sized Australian businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace.
Customer orders will be fulfilled from Amazon’s new distribution centre in Dandenong South, and Amazon also has corporate offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra that are home to more than 1,000 employees.
“Over time, we will create thousands of new jobs and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia,” said Braeuniger. “The result will be an ever-improving customer experience driven by the regular introduction of new products and services that we hope customers will love.”
The Australian Financial Review has revealed that shares in Australia-based global delivery logistics software company GetSwift doubled on Friday, 1 December, following the news that it has signed a ‘master services agreement’ with Amazon.
“GetSwift is pleased to announce that it has signed a global master services agreement with Amazon,” GetSwift said in an ASX announcement. “The extent of the services to be provided and the revenues to be derived will be generated from specific transactions agreed with Amazon pursuant to the Master Services Agreement.
“Due to the terms of the agreement the number of deliveries this agreement may generate is currently not determinable.
Australian customers can now also access Prime Video and Twitch Prime, for an introductory price of US$2.99 ($4.00) per month.
Jim Power – consumer sector research analyst at Martin Currie, a division of asset management firm Legg Mason – noted that Australia’s retail sector will cope with the arrival of Amazon.
“While Amazon will have an impact on the Australian retail landscape, based on my discussions with a wide range of market participants in the US, I remain positive of the Australian retail sector.
“My main take away [from meeting US retailers] was that Amazon’s key advantage is that its strategy is driven by data, not gut feel, and the key source of this data is the Marketplace.
“For Amazon’s Marketplace to be successful in Australia, Amazon will need a good product range, including local specialty suppliers. I think this may prove difficult.”
Edit – 30 November 2017: News site LifeHacker has shared that Amazon’s failure to launch may have been due to a glitch in the software used to apply goods and services tax (GST), as announced by Jason Mahoney, Managing Director – ANZ of market research firm Kantar Retail.
Following months of speculation about Amazon’s intentions to launch a local presence in Australia, and months of subsequent speculation about the logistics of the move once the company had confirmed its Down Under aspirations, the latest speculation revolves around the launch date for the e-commerce company’s local website.
Email correspondence with retailers leaked last week revealed a soft launch planned for Thursday afternoon, suggesting a Black Friday rollout could be imminent. Alas, reports emerged on Friday from retailers revealing that the soft launch had in fact not gone ahead, prompting speculation that Amazon had purposefully sent the email to prompt local retailers into promoting their own Black Friday discount offers.
News site Tamebay has offered its own thoughts on the likely timeline for Amazon’s Australian expansion, surmising that a pre-Christmas unveiling looks likely, and a Black Friday launch was never on the cards. “The last thing that Amazon would have wanted would be the extra pressure of running thousands of Black Friday deals and having their brand new warehouse staff (many of whom will still be being trained) for their first day’s trading,” the site wrote.
We’ll be watching keenly for developments, and are excited to make a purchase once the full site is up and running – to test its fulfilment and delivery capabilities, of course.
Delivery network Fastway Couriers is raising funds for White Ribbon Australia, a charity dedicated to preventing violence against women. The charity holds an annual fundraising day – White Ribbon Day, which will be supported by Fastway Couriers Sydney this year though a White Ribbon Day BBQ, to be held at the Sydney depot on Friday, 24 November.
Both the human and canine White Ribbon Australia ambassadors, Tex O’Grady and Bundy, will be travelling from Grafton, New South Wales, to attend the event and O’Grady will speak to couriers about the importance of speaking up to raise awareness of violence against women.
David Ciantar, General Manager, Fastway Couriers, said the depot is very pleased to be supporting White Ribbon Australia.
“Fastway Couriers is committed to making a difference in the community and we’re so proud to be supporting White Ribbon Day this year,” said Ciantar. “With one in three women having experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them, it’s a very serious issue facing our society. The work of White Ribbon Australia is so vital in not only supporting those impacted by domestic violence but also in preventing it from happening in the future.”
Fastway Courier Franchisee of West Ryde Sydney, Adrian Argeseanu, was reportedly instrumental in driving the fundraising for the event.
“White Ribbon Day is such an important cause to support,” said Argeseanu. “White Ribbon Australia provided my wife with amazing support during some very difficult times and our family is very grateful for this. We thank the other couriers and staff here in Sydney who are helping support this incredible cause with us this year.”
Parcel delivery company CouriersPlease’s new National eCommerce Manager, Jessica Ip, has been tasked with driving the strategy and innovation of the business’s e-commerce services to “enhance the customer experience and position the business at the forefront of online retail delivery,” the company explained in a statement.
“Jessica’s mantle will be the design and implementation of a suite of innovative e-commerce solutions to make last-mile delivery as hassle-free, flexible and convenient for the customer.”
Ip spent seven years at Qantas Freight, where she in worked in technology consultancy, improving business performance and global key account management and e-business. Most recently, she was Courier Product Manager at Rohlig Australia.
“To take the helm of CouriersPlease’s e-commerce management, at what is such a pivotal time for the logistics, supply chain and retail industries, is a great opportunity,” said Ip. “With the growing demand for online shopping and competition from major global players, our focus is on enhancing the customer experience right from the time an order is made to the final moment when the parcel is delivered.
“To meet customer expectations, we will continue to innovate and implement technology solutions such as CouriersPlease’s flexible Delivery Choices, on-demand notifications giving customers the choice to redirect their parcel to our network of parcel lockers and retail outlets, leave the delivery without a signature, or with a neighbour close by if they won’t be home to receive their order.”
Mark McGinley, CEO, CouriersPlease, added, “Jessica’s experience implementing strategic business technology innovations will be a great asset for CouriersPlease, as we work to develop more solutions to help ease the delivery experience for our customers and online retailer partners. She will be key in continuing to roll out our network of POPPoints in retail outlets around the country, and implementing our flexible Delivery Choices.”
Jessica joins a senior leadership team made up of 80 per cent women.
An email sent to select retailers announcing the soft launch of Amazon’s Australian operations has been leaked to news site Life Hacker.
The emails calls for sellers to be ready for the site to go live at 2pm AEST, at which time customers will be able to access listings though since only a small number of buyers will be granted access initially, for a testing period.
Amazon seems to be looking to take advantage of the growing international popularity of partaking in the Black Friday shopping day – the day following Thanksgiving in the US is known for retailers offering massive discounts, allowing people to stock up on Christmas presents.
This year, Black Friday falls tomorrow – 24 November.
It is unknown when Amazon would be looking to rollout its full site to customers, though if today’s test goes well it could be a busy month for the retailer in the run-up to Christmas – and we’ll be watching keenly to see what delivery arrangements it has made to avoid disappointing customers familiar with its delivery capabilities in other regions.
Australian online fashion retailer The Iconic has moved to a new, larger distribution centre (DC) in Yennora, New South Wales, due to growing customer demand and in preparation for forecasted growth over the coming years.
The company says the 19,000m2 site will be Australia’s largest ‘fashion wardrobe’, home to 700 brands, more than 45,000 different products and innovation in delivery, returns and technology.
“In just over five short years, The Iconic, Australia’s largest online fashion and sportswear destination, has redefined the Australian retail landscape and raised the bar in the way consumers shop for fashion,” the company said in a statement.
“The Iconic is now five years old and growing faster than ever,” said Patrick Schmidt, CEO, The Iconic. “We’ve expanded our team significantly, welcomed an influx of new customers shopping our site and app and have on-boarded so many beloved global and local brands that we’ve physically outgrown the warehouse space that saw us through our early years.
“As we prepare for the exciting years ahead we are pleased to have successfully relocated to a much larger and more sophisticated fulfilment centre to support the growth of our business through 2020 and beyond.
“This considerably larger space ensures we have the capacity to keep up with demand for the latest styles our customers want, and also supports our commitment to offering industry-defining delivery options to make online shopping joyful, convenient and seamless.”
The Iconic’s new DC is the size of three football fields, and moving operations to the new facility took 500 of the company’s staff members 25 hours, 50 truck runs – and 2,000 Subway sandwiches.