eStore Logistics opens Melbourne warehouse

eStore Logistics has announced the opening of a new 13,000m2 e-commerce warehousing and order fulfilment facility located in Melbourne’s West.
The new facility features 12,500 pallet positions, 18,000 pick bin locations, state-of-the-art security and more than 45 high-resolution video surveillance cameras with 24/7 recording.
This new warehousing facility has been designed specifically for storage, dispatch of goods for e-commerce and omni-channel retail clients.
E-commerce order profiles will be serviced from the facility as well as full case and split case picks for wholesale and direct to store requirements.
The company explained in a statement that the facility had been designed to provide a flexible operation that could be scaled up based on seasonality, business growth and new clients.

Optimistic outlook for Australia's logistics sector

Australia’s industrial and logistics occupiers are generally optimistic about the future and expect their businesses to be better off financially in the next 12 months, an inaugural survey carried out by commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE found.
The Australian Industrial and Logistics Occupier Survey was undertaken to gain a better understanding of decision-making drivers, occupier strategies and how changes in technology and automation are impacting real-estate requirements.
Kate Bailey, Senior Research Manager, CBRE, said the results reflected an engaged and optimistic industrial and logistics market, with 66 per cent of respondents expecting their business to be better off financially and 25 per cent expecting things to stay the same over the next 12 months.
The retailing, warehousing and distribution sector were the most positive, with 86 per cent of respondents expecting their business to be better off.
“Surveys of this kind have rarely been undertaken in the Australian industrial and logistics market, meaning there has been limited benchmarking of what drives occupiers’ decision making,” said Bailey.
Manufacturers were found to be the most likely to want a smaller occupancy, with 21 per cent preferring a smaller footprint. This was possibly reflective of the shift towards high-tech manufacturing, which was less floorspace intensive, Bailey said.
CBRE Senior Managing Director, Industrial & Logistics, Matt Haddon, said the survey also highlighted key trends and attitudes in relation to sustainability, e-commerce, new development practices such as multi-storey warehousing, and the drivers behind occupiers’ site selection criteria.
“It is likely that the drive to incorporate sustainable design elements in industrial and logistics assets will continue to be led by the owner-occupier sector, with this group most likely to amortise initial expenses such as solar panels and wind turbines and see the flow on benefits from sustainable demand first hand,” said Haddon.
When it came to e-commerce, one of the more surprising findings was that the impact was yet to be fully realised in the sector, with 42 per cent of respondents indicating that they had seen no change from the growth of e-commerce in the past five years.
In relation to multi-storey warehousing, the survey found that while there was a high level of awareness from respondents (90 per cent) only 25 per cent of respondents would consider this style of asset.
The level of appeal was higher amongst retail/warehousing and wholesaling occupiers (50 per cent appeal, 50 per cent consideration) and lower amongst manufacturers (20 per cent appeal, 17 per cent consideration) – possibly due to the high cost of specialised machinery and equipment.
Turning to site selection, the survey found that access to road networks, key transport infrastructure and skilled employees had the highest level of perceived importance when selecting an industrial or logistics property.

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.

CouriersPlease opens two new depots

Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease has opened two new relocated logistics facilities in major Australian cities, investment in its infrastructure ahead of a forecast growth in parcel deliveries in tandem with the growth in e-commerce.
The two new Perth and Melbourne locations will be key logistics facilities as the company expands its reach in Australia and overseas, as CouriersPlease explained in a media statement.
Located in the new $440 million logistics hub Drystone Industrial Estate, CouriersPlease’s relocated state-of-the-art logistics facility in Truganina, Victoria, replaces the company’s Port Melbourne, Victoria, depot. Along with CouriersPlease’s existing Mulgrave facility, it will provide the business with east-to-west coverage of Melbourne. The site is 29,000m2 in total, with 12,500m2 under the roof, and will accommodate over 160 courier vehicles. Additional bay spaces have also been allocated to accommodate future growth.
Drystone Industrial Estate is home to other distribution centres for major Australian companies, including Kmart, The Reject Shop and Rand.
The second recently opened logistics facility is located in Welshpool, an inner south-eastern suburb of Perth. The new 4,043m2 site will be the delivery hub for Perth and Western Australia. It comprises a 3,443m2 warehouse, with a 600m2 office space, and room to expand a further 2,000m2 in the future.
The logistics facility will provide improves access to the CBD and the north and south of the city and is close to main arterial routes such as Orrong Road, Welshpool Road, Leach Highway and Tonkin Highway.
In September last year, CouriersPlease opened a relocated Brisbane depot in Salisbury, and a new Adelaide depot is set to open in Marleston later this year.
“CouriersPlease has relocated our logistics facilities in major capital cities in order to accommodate the significant growth in the volume of parcels moving throughout our network,” Mark McGinley, CEO, CouriersPlease. “Our commitment in moving to the west of Melbourne has stemmed from it being a massive growth corridor with some of the highest rates of online shopping in the country. Our new Welshpool depot gives us greater coverage of the city and a larger warehouse space for logistics operations, allowing us to bring a better service to our customers. With room for future expansion, we hope to bring more jobs and opportunities to the local community.”

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,.”

Sendle partners with eBay

Courier service Sendle has partnered with e-commerce marketplace eBay, to target small- and medium-sized businesses. The collaboration will enable sellers to link eBay accounts directly with Sendle to instantly create shipping labels and receive access to flat-rate pricing throughout Australia.
Additionally, eBay sellers now have free access to Sendle Premium, normally priced at $10 per month, which provides an extra dollar off standard pricing.
To launch the partnership, Sendle is giving away 25,000 deliveries to the eBay seller community.
“We hear from our sellers that shipping can be one of the biggest pain points in running a business,” said Amrita Blickstead, Director – Small Business & Shipping, eBay Australia & New Zealand. “The integration with Sendle is designed to remove some of this friction, and will allow our 40,000 small to medium sellers to be more efficient and sell instantly without being locked into a contract or a minimum spend.”
James Chin Moody, Co-founder and CEO of Sendle, added, “‘Sendle for eBay’ is levelling the playing field for small- and medium-sized eBay sellers…With a deep understanding of eBay seller needs and working together with eBay, we are focussed on eliminating frustrating pain points for both buyers and sellers, making the delivery process seamless.”

AusPost launches commerce hub

Australia Post has entered into a joint venture with a global fintech company AlphaPaymentsCloud, PowerRetail reports. The two will create an integrated commerce platform, AlphaCommerceHub, which will ease online trading for Australian retailers, a one-stop shop for e-commerce services including payment processing, identity, fraud detection and shipping.
“Businesses will no longer need to invest in multiple platforms, integrations and expensive ongoing investment to stay current,” said Andrew Walduck, Executive General Manager of Trusted e-Commerce Services and Group Chief Digital Officer, Australia Post.
“AlphaCommerceHub offers contemporary point of sale and online checkout options.
“It’s an absolute game changer in Australia’s fintech evolution so we’re incredibly excited about the potential this joint venture brings to both our banking partners and our customers.”
PowerRetail shared that Oliver Rajic, CEO, of AlphaPaymentsCloud noted that the platform will provide customisable commerce services and streamlined payments.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Australia Post to realize our shared vision to become Australia’s vendor solution switch,” said Rajic.
“Everyone’s talking about fintech, but Australia Post is truly embracing this transformation. It’s amazing to consider the potential for our joint solution to create the infrastructure underpinning Australia’s fintech future.”

NZ Post to pilot unlimited multi-brand delivery service

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.

Amazon officially confirms location of first Australian DC

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.”

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