E-commerce changing the landscape of logistics industry

tablet shopping iPad

E-commerce is changing the logistics landscape in Singapore, as new players enter the market to better cater to the changing profiles of both consumers and retailers.

Traditional business-to-business logistics involves the shipment of orders to a centralised distribution centre, before they are delivered to the storefront. But in recent years, the e-commerce ‘business-to-consumer’ model has emerged, and this requires a different set of systems and mindsets.

For instance, online shoppers want to track their purchases and know their likely delivery date. To cater to these eager consumers, logistics providers are adopting a high-speed and customer-centric approach. Logistics firm aCommerce, for example, sends customers SMS shipment notifications, provides real-time delivery status updates and gives its drivers smartphones for all their deliveries.

The company also has its own call centre team to handle rescheduling if a delivery fails to reach the customer the first time. Ms Sabina Chang, CEO of aCommerce (Singapore), said: “Consumers want visibility and transparency in their delivery, and that is what I think many logistics providers can’t provide today.”

From webhosting to warehousing, and picking and packing, new industry players said they can provide solutions from one end of the logistics supply chain to the other, and help smaller retailers that lack sufficient resources and volume to go online.

E-commerce companies like blogshops, for example, tend to have small inventories, but most logistics companies require a minimum volume commitment.

Said Mr Vaibhav Dabhade, co-founder and CEO of Anchanto: “We need more companies that allow e-commerce companies to store and fulfil maybe a few thousand products – that would really meet the needs of smaller retailers. For small or big businesses, we give great flexibility, in that we do not charge a minimum fee, but we charge based on what they consume.”

As new firms enter the market, industry watchers said the main challenge is to keep costs down while still being able to scale up. “Opening up a website, hosting a website, digital marketing – these can be scaled up quite quickly,” said Mr Sachin Mittal, vice-president of equity research at DBS Bank. “But how fast can you scale up people on the ground, how fast can you scale up right deliveries in right time? That is the perennial challenge for logistics.”

The e-commerce market in Singapore was estimated to be worth more than S$2 billion in 2013. It is expected to grow in line with its Asian peers, at an average annual rate of about 30 per cent over the next four years.

 

Source : Channel News Asia | September

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About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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