Amazon trialling own delivery service

E-commerce company Amazon is reportedly trialling its own delivery service, news site TechRadar reports.
According to news company the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s new service encompasses pick-up of packages from businesses sell on its site through its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service, and delivery to customers, taking over the task usually performed by dedicated delivery companies such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx.
Although there have been no official reports from the company itself, the Wall Street Journal reports that the pilot scheme has already been launched in London, and soon will head to Los Angeles and other US cities.

E-commerce giant JD.com picks VIC for regional HQ

JD.com, one of China’s largest online retailers, will open its regional headquarters in Melbourne, the Victorian Government has announced.
JD.com has over 266 million customer accounts, and operates China’s largest nationwide fulfilment network, with seven fulfilment centres and more than 400 warehouses in 2,830 counties and districts throughout China.
The company sells a wide range of goods, including vitamins, electronics, clothing and books.
Following a visit by representatives from JD.com to the Food and Beverage Trade Week in Victoria in October, the Andrews Labor Government has been working closely with the company to encourage it to establish a presence in the region.
“This announcement will give more Victorian businesses the opportunity to take their products to the world and is a clear indication that we’re leading the nation on the digital economy,” said Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis.
“We welcome JD.com with open arms and look forward to all the opportunities that this new regional HQ will bring to Victoria, including strengthening our economy and creating more local jobs.”
Patrick Nestel, Manager of JD.com Australia, added:
“Victoria’s wealth of high-quality suppliers, supportive government, 24/7 airport and largest container port in the southern hemisphere made it the obvious choice for JD.com’s new regional HQ.”

AusPost breaks delivery volume records

Australia Post has revealed that it completed more than 37 million parcel deliveries during December 2017, the busiest month in the organisation’s 209-year history.
According to Bob Black, Chief Operations Officer and Executive General Manager – eCommerce Delivery at Australia Post, more than 2,000 extra staff helped the postal service handle the record volumes.
“We made more than 37 million parcel deliveries in the four weeks leading up to Christmas, that’s almost 20 per cent more deliveries per day compared to last year making 2017 our biggest festive season ever,” said Black.
“On average our drivers and posties made more than five deliveries per household across Australia, making it a huge team effort.”
In the final week before Christmas, Australia Post delivered more than 11 million parcels, and more than 100 million greeting cards and letters. Several days in the week before Christmas recorded increases of more than 30 per cent across Premium and Express services.
Black said Australians also embraced Australia Post’s range of delivery options, including weekend deliveries and extended trading hours, as well as parcel redirections, parcel pick-up directly from Australia Post facilities, and ‘safe drop’, whereby residents can nominate a safe place for parcels to be left at their property when they are not at home.
The unprecedented parcels volumes started in November, after the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Click Frenzy sales, and continued into the New Year.
“Retailers now offer great deals online during the Boxing Day and new year sales, which have always been popular with Australians,” said Black. “It’s very much all hands on deck still, we’re still seeing record volumes through our network due to some amazing sales.
Overall, online shopping purchases in Australia grew 15 per cent in 2017 compared with 2016, Australia Post shared.

WiseTech Global announces ninth acquisition for 2017

Sydney-based logistics software company, WiseTech Global, has acquired Warehouse Management System (WMS) provider, Microlistics, for $40 million, expanding its e-commerce capabilities.
“With the impact of e-commerce and advances in automation, warehouse management is an increasingly complex and specialised part of the international supply chain,” said WiseTech Global CEO, Richard White.
“The combined strength of WiseTech’s global innovation capabilities and our CargoWise One supply chain execution platform integrated with Microlistics’ powerful warehouse solutions for enterprise, express, third party logistics and cold storage will provide significant benefit to logistics providers.
“WiseTech is uniquely well-placed to deliver the technology convergence and deep integration necessary to facilitate omnichannel, multimodal movements across the supply chain ¬– of which warehousing is a critical component,” he said.
Microlistics Founder and Managing Director, Mark Dawson, said that joining the WiseTech Global Group is a key part of its evolution.
“With the global strength and powerful innovation capability of WiseTech, and our WMS expertise, together we will accelerate development of high productivity WMS to bring significant new benefits to the logistics industry,” said Dawson.
“Microlistics will remained focused on warehouse management solutions and we can leverage WiseTech’s global reach, resources and the CargoWise One platform, which for our customers will mean the opportunity for end-to-end execution, control and visibility of the supply chain,” he said.
Microlistics will reportedly continue to develop and deliver its warehouse management solutions with Dawson at the helm to its worldwide customers, and potentially to the 7,000 logistics providers across 125 countries that use WiseTech’s integrated supply chain execution solutions.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Microlistics made $6.8 million revenue in 2016-17, and WiseTech reported $153.8 million in revenue for the same period – spending $50.4 million on research and development.

eBay and DHL partner with 24 /7 delivery network ‘Hubbed’

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.”

Small online retailers expect to grow their business with Amazon

With the arrival of Amazon causing heated debate among industry experts and retailers alike, new research from parcel delivery service CouriersPlease reveals smaller online retailers are more likely to welcome the e-commerce giant than larger online retail businesses, and see it as an opportunity to grow their business.
CouriersPlease conducted a survey among its online retailer customers to gauge sentiment about the arrival of Amazon.
Of the 193 online retailers who took part in the survey, more than 59 per cent see Amazon’s arrival as an opportunity to grow their business to Australian and international customers. The percentage consistently increased the smaller the size of the business: 62 per cent of micro businesses, 56 per cent of small businesses, 53 per cent of medium-sized businesses, and 33 per cent of large businesses would welcome Amazon.
The survey also revealed that 63 per cent of online retailers – and 74 per cent of small online retailers – believe Amazon will not compete with their business.
Attitudes among online retailers, however, are in stark contrast to shopper behaviour. CouriersPlease research in June found that 90 per cent of Australian online shoppers admitted they would purchase from Amazon if it fulfils its promise to deliver low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.
“Amazon is a disrupter and it’s likely that its arrival will change not only the retail sector, but also the logistics industry,” said Mark McGinley, CEO, CouriersPlease. “Like every disruptor in the market, Amazon is customer-focused and local businesses wanting to compete will need to look at how they can add value to the customer. There is no doubt that the competition will make us all better at what we do.
“Australian online shoppers have told us that they will redirect their purchases to Amazon if it can deliver more of what customers want. It’s no surprise that smaller online sellers see Amazon as a partnership opportunity, to enable them to reach more local and overseas customers.”

Fastway Couriers wins International Franchisor of the Year

Fastway Couriers has won the International Franchisor of the Year Award for the second time in three years, in recognition of its Blu Couriers and Parcel Connect innovations.
Parcel Connect taps into the business hours of local stores and petrol stations to provide a close and convenient drop off and collection point for both customers and Fastway’s franchisees, while the Blu Couriers platform supports Fastway’s franchisees by providing with an on-demand, trained workforce to meet forecast and unexpected spikes in deliveries.
“With three in every four Australians shopping online, and given our business’ rapid transition from B2B to B2C, Fastway Couriers is continually looking for ways to best meet the needs of our franchisees and their customers,” said Peter Lipinski, CEO, Fastway Couriers Australia.
“We’ve transformed our thinking here at Fastway as we continue to evolve in order to help our regional franchisees and 1,000 courier franchisees capture more of the e-commerce market and better manage the growing volume of deliveries while also growing their business.”
The company also attributed its success in part to international courier company Aramex, which purchased Fastway Couriers in January 2016, providing the business and its franchisees with access to research, resources and expertise.
“It’s an extremely exciting time to be involved in delivery logistics with technology advances rewriting the rules and that’s a huge opportunity for us and for our franchisees,” said Peter. “That appetite for online shopping is great news for our franchisees with the volume of parcels growing at an extraordinary rate and, in line with the new way of shopping, we will continue to reinvent the way we do business.”

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.

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.”

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