Dinner drone delivery trials under way in ACT, NSW

Australian Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez and pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse have partnered with Project Wing, a team developing drone delivery technology in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
Both retailers will be taking part in Project Wings’ trials, receiving orders from testers using the drone team’s smartphone applications. Project Wing will then dispatch drones to the retailer’s location and, once loaded with the goods, deliver the orders to the testers’ residences.
On the company’s blog, Project Wing Co-Lead James Ryan Burgess explained, “Our partners Guzman y Gomez and Chemist Warehouse will teach us what we need to do to ensure that orders are channelled to their staff smoothly and that they can easily load goods onto our delivery drones.
“In the case of Guzman y Gomez, who is our first delivery partner for this trial, we’ll need to make sure our technology fits in smoothly into their kitchen operations, as their staff have to juggle many orders at once to ensure that every customer is served fresh, hot food in a timely fashion. We want to learn how much notice to give them for a drone’s arrival so that they can cook, pack, and load it in one well-timed workflow.”
He noted that through the collaboration with Chemist Warehouse, Project Wing hopes to confirm its system is able to support merchants with a wide variety of products. “As part of this test, [Chemist Warehouse is] offering nearly 100 products across categories like vitamins, dental care, sun care, and over-the-counter medicines,” Burgess said. “By practicing how we pack items of very different shapes and sizes into our fixed-sized package, we’ll learn how to optimize how many items we’re able to deliver per flight.
“The information we gather from both of these test partners will help us build a system so that merchants of all kinds can focus on what they’re good at  – like making food or helping people feel healthier  –  rather than being distracted by complex delivery logistics.”

Over one billion parcels sent in Australia annually by 2021

By 2021, more than a billion parcels will be sent in Australia per year, according to the second annual Parcel Shipping Index from global technology company Pitney Bowes. The Index measures volume and spend for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments in 13 major markets including Australia, Germany, China, the UK and the US.
This year’s Index projects that the Australian parcel market will grow 9 to 12 per cent from 2017 to 2021 (CAGR), with more than a billion parcels sent per year in Australia by 2021.
It also shows that Australia experienced double-digit growth in parcel volume from 2015 to 2016, year on year, increasing by 13 per cent to 794 million.
The Index found that parcel spend in Australia grew by four per cent to reach $9 billion in 2016 – but while parcel volume and spend are rising, start-ups are disrupting the parcel market, increasing competition and driving down revenue per parcel – with an eight per cent yield per parcel drop attributed to the entrance of more non-traditional carriers into the market.
“The Australian parcel landscape is in the midst of great growth and disruption,” said Stephen Darracott, Country Manager and Director, Pitney Bowes ANZ. “We anticipate even more parcel volume growth with the e-commerce revolution taking hold in Australia. Individuals will have more choice about delivery times and service options over the next year. Meanwhile, businesses should be undergoing a digital transformation of their mailing and shipping workflow to focus on more efficiency and inbound and outbound tracking capabilities.”
On average, the other 12 major markets studied have grown 4.3 per cent annually since 2012 and are projected to grow 4.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent annually through 2021.
“The continued rise of e-commerce globally is keeping the parcel shipping market strong through 2021 as consumers are increasingly looking to online shopping for convenience, price and availability of products from around the world,” said Lila Snyder, Executive Vice President and President – Global E-commerce, Pitney Bowes. “As consumer expectations continue to rise, shipping technology and service providers will need to help retailers and marketplaces meet those demands.”
Globally, the Parcel Shipping Index predicted rapid growth and last-mile delivery challenges will drive innovation across markets, and the rise of parcel lockers and new delivery models like crowd-shipping, on-demand delivery services, evening and weekend delivery and drones.

Amazon to hold online selling summit for Australian retailers

E-commerce retailer Amazon has released details of a summit to be held in Sydney in November to advise Australia’s retailers on setting up and growing online businesses.
The first-ever Amazon Marketplace Seller Summit is being run in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and small business network, the SME Association of Australia (SMEA).
Amazon Marketplace is an online platform that enables third-party retailers to list items for sale on Amazon’s website, elsewhere orders can be fulfilled by the merchant or by Amazon itself, though the company has not released any information confirming whether fulfilment by Amazon will be offered in Australia, or on what timeline.
Amazon has reported that over 500 businesses have already registered to sell their products on the Amazon website when Marketplace goes live.
Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager, Amazon Australia and Fabio Bertola, Head of Amazon Marketplace in Australia, will speak at the event, along with various other retail experts and entrepreneurs.
“The internet and technology have the power to level the playing field between big and small businesses, empowering Australian companies, large and small, to grow their sales and their business online,” said Braeuniger. “We look forward to enabling local businesses to make their products available to a wide audience, not only in Australia, but also worldwide.”
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director, ARA, said: “We believe that Amazon’s arrival brings new possibilities to Australian retailers, small and large. We are pleased to work alongside Amazon to bring the Seller Summit to Sydney so that businesses and retailers alike can receive practical advice and guidance on how to make the most of Amazon Marketplace.”
The free, half-day event will take place 13 November at Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney.

AusPost debuts shipping program with free delivery until 1 January

Shipster, a new membership program powered by Australia Post, will enable shoppers to have online orders delivered for free in metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane until 1 January 2018.
With a $9.95 membership, users will receive free shipping when spending $25 and up at participating stores – including Myer, Target, Cotton On and Toys R Us – as well as free delivery of one Deliveroo order each month.
“We know our customers love to shop online and this Christmas we expect more gifts to be bought online than ever before,” said Christine Corbett, Acting Managing Director and Group CEO, Australia Post. “Shipster lets you shop with confidence knowing that there will be no surprises at the checkout.
“With online shopping growing from 11.5 per cent to 15 per cent in the last 12 months, we’re predicting the busiest year for online shopping we’ve ever seen at Australia Post.”
Brands participating in the trial include Babies R Us, Booktopia, Harvey Norman, Kogan, Lorna Jane, MAC and The Body Shop.
Following the introductory period, Shipster membership will cost $6.95 per month, and continue to allow customers to receive free delivery where shipping costs less than $20.

Amazon developing own delivery service

Anonymous sources have informed news site Bloomberg that Amazon is planning to launch its own US delivery service, ‘Seller Flex’, which has been designed to ease overcrowding in its warehouses and make more items eligible for two-hour delivery.
Research for the US pilot project reportedly began in India two years ago, with Amazon now in discussions with US sellers ahead of a national rollout in 2018.
The sources said that through the service, Amazon will manage parcel delivery from warehouses of third-party sellers to the customer’s delivery address, a role until now performed by delivery partners such as FedEx and UPS.
Bloomberg’s Spencer Soper noted that the relationship between Amazon and its delivery partners may well continue, though the e-commerce company would gain more control over how a package is sent.
He added that this would give Amazon more flexibility and control over the final mile to customers’ doors – opening up opportunities for volume discounts – and help it streamline its warehouse inventory operations, by having external sellers store their goods in their own facilities.
“Amazon’s final-mile efforts reflect a logical extension of its model as it builds network density,” Benjamin Hartford, a Robert W. Baird analyst, told Bloomberg.

Australian logistics and warehousing market to reach $187 billion by 2021

Australia’s warehousing and logistics industries will be worth $187 billion by 2021, according to a new study from market research firm Ken Research.
The company noted that it has observed an evolution in the logistics industry in recent years, in terms of integration and digitalisation of the supply chain, which has led to better productivity and efficiency creating sustainable modes of transporting goods from one place to another.
Ken Research attributed the Australian logistics market’s impressive growth rate in 2016 to the expanding manufacturing and retail sector, the growing number of foreign companies and the increasing value of exports and imports.
The demand for cold chain logistics has grown with the rising demand for Australia agricultural products from other countries leading to increasing agricultural exports, the company noted. It added that government investment in infrastructure development of road, rail, air and water transport facilities will drive the Australia logistics and warehousing industry in coming years, through investment including $70 billion allocated for transport infrastructure from 2014 to 2021, and $75 billion for funding road and rail infrastructure from 2018 to 2027.
The partnership of the Australian Government with New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in 2014 is expected to assist the various land transport infrastructure projects.
Ken Research said that the freight forwarding industry will continue to account for the larger share of the revenue pie, supported by the growth of third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, as global players enter the Australian market.
Large companies are expected to focus on value-added services, with the power having shifted to the consumer, with internet driving growth, the transformation of supply chain, business-to-consumer (B2C) outgrowing business-to-business (B2B), new technology and home delivery.
“The value added services segment has seen faster growth in the international market than domestic primarily due to growing cross border e-commerce,” the company said. “With the development of artificial intelligence and growth of e-commerce sector, the demand for warehousing is expected to develop with auto and ancillary and chemical and pharmaceutical sectors [emerging as the] largest demand drivers of warehousing space.”

SmartFreight announces shipping software acquisitions

Australian and global shipping software provider SmartFreight –part of the Interactive Freight Systems (IFS) group of companies – has announced two acquisitions – Compdata Technology Services (Supplymaster), and the shipping software arm of transport and logistics business tdX (The Data Exchange).
The acquisitions form part of SmartFreight’s global growth strategy, driving continued investment in multi-carrier shipping solutions, optimising control over operating cost structures, maintaining competitive price strategies and reinforcing relationships within the transport sector and other associated alliance partners.
Commenting on the business deal, Ken Aitken, CEO, SmartFreight, said: “This is a huge win for all stakeholders in the Australian supply chain industry and global e-commerce arena, with customers, transport providers, software partners and freight management partners alike all set to benefit.
“Today marks the convergence of some 50 years of combined technology experience in the shipping software industry. We are extremely pleased to have been able to achieve this with two such respected industry players.
“We’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome the Compdata team into the IFS Group. Compdata will help to expand our team’s existing skillset and build on the exceptional business they have created over the years.
“We also look forward to collaborating with tdX on key projects in the future, growing the reach of our solutions to assist customers with extended workflow processes in their supply chain, which is tdX’s core strength.”
SmartFreight’s enlarged team complements its objective to remain nimble and responsive to all customer needs, the company said in a statement.
Service enhancements will include an increased multi-lingual customer facing team across all facets of the business, and an increased human IP resource pool to ensure a positive customer experience.
Guyren Smith, Director, Compdata Technology Services, said: “I am extremely proud of what the Compdata team has achieved over the last 20 years, and confident that the combined Compdata and SmartFreight teams will deliver positive outcomes for all our valued customers.”
Echoing Smith’s sentiments, Grahame Williams, Managing Director, tdX, said: “There’s great alignment with SmartFreight and tdX. We share the same ethical values and customer service ethos – so this was a natural fit. While my decision to step away from the divested part of the business to concentrate on our core competencies in customised solutions is one I’m personally excited about, Ken’s leadership will undoubtedly see SmartFreight continue to be upheld as the pre-eminent shipping solution provider in Australia and across all territories in which they operate globally.”
Later this year SmartFreight plans to launch a new technology platform that will encapsulating the best features of all companies into one single global platform.
It will allow customers to ship their customers’ orders globally with real-time diagnostics and information and full visibility of shipment delivery status.

Delivery startup Passel partners with VIC retailer

Pookipoiga, a gift shop in Melbourne focusing on sustainable and ethical goods from local artists and social brands, has partnered with Melbourne crowd-sourced delivery startup, Passel.
By employing the services of people willing to complete a delivery on their way home in exchange for a $10 gift voucher, Passel provides affordable and convenient three-hour deliveries, avoiding the need for professional or part-time couriers.
Until now, Pookipoiga had relied on the post or, in some cases, hopping on a bike or public transport to make deliveries, Passel reported in a media statement. From Monday 25 September, Pookipoiga’s clients in Melbourne will be able to access Passel’s three-hour deliveries, year round.
“Passel is efficient and able to convey messages personally with locals,” said Sree Nellerichal, Founder, Pookipoiga. “They have the ability to make the delivery experience memorable. A lot of our customers are buying last-minute gifts. Previously, we know they have chosen not to buy because we can’t deliver until the next day, or even after the weekend. Who doesn’t want to provide exceptional value and a variety of options to customers?”
Marshall Hughes, Co-founder and CEO, Passel, added, “Pookipoiga is a perfect client to work with. They are acutely aware of the likes of international giants such as Amazon and know that it is not enough just to compete by offering more of the same. Affordable three-hour delivery sets a new benchmark for Australian retailers.”
Pookipoiga is the first of Passel’s partnering retailers to be announced, the company reports that several others will soon and it expects to be operating out of most of Melbourne’s major retail precincts and shopping centres in time for Christmas.

Sendle partners with DHL eCommerce

Through a new partnership with DHL eCommerce, a division of the international logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, courier service Sendle plans to offer international parcel delivery services for small businesses in Australia.
The move will mean small businesses will be able to offer door-to-door delivery, with Sendle managing domestic pickups in Australia and DHL eCommerce providing access to over 220 countries and territories in its global network.
“Delivery performance is a critical success factor for any e-commerce business and an extremely crucial part of the consumer’s shopping experience,” said Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce. “Australian SMEs are winners in this partnership as we combine DHL’s global expertise and reach with Sendle’s deep knowledge of small businesses to create simple and affordable solutions for international parcel delivery.”
James Chin Moody, CEO and Co-ounder, Sendle added, “From day one, our mission has been to unlock the power of big business delivery infrastructure for millions of small businesses. Our agreement with DHL eCommerce, a true world leader in logistics, is a major step forward in levelling the playing field in Australia. By doing so, we aim to help more small businesses expand globally and thrive in the Amazon age.”
The partnership with DHL eCommerce comes as Sendle announces it has just passed one billion kilometres of carbon-neutral parcel delivery on behalf of tens of thousands of small businesses.
Deutsche Post DHL Group recently announced its goal to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by the year 2050.
“With the partnership now signed, we expect Sendle’s international shipping service to be available to selected Sydney customers in time for Christmas deliveries and to rollout nationwide in 2018,” Chin Moody added. “Watch this space.”
Sendle is inviting small businesses to register to be part of a pilot program.

DHL contemplates ‘final mile’ in Australia

Logistics company, DHL, will consider an ‘Uber-style’ model for its ‘final mile’ parcel delivery offering in Australia, according to The Australian.
DHL eCommerce Global Head, Charles Brewer, told The Australian that DHL was considering a ‘capital light’ model due to the company’s double-digit growth in Australia.
“Do we want to play in this space in Australia?” Brewer said. “That is the question we need to answer over the next few weeks and months. Last mile is the one that excites most people we talk to.
“The volume is there. The market exists. The question is, can you create a sustainable proposition in the space?  Australia is a great market, a big market, I like the look of it, but we need to do our maths,.”

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