News dalla rete ITA

9 Marzo 2021

Australia

ONLINE RETAILERS WEIGH INSOURCING FULFILMENT AS DEMAND SOARS

Fast-growing online retailers such as Kogan.com and Temple & Webster are considering insourcing fulfilment as the pandemic accelerates the shift to e-commerce, helping them to achieve scale. Sales at many pure-play online and omnichannel retailers more than doubled last year – buoyed by demand from consumers who had never shopped online before – straining the capacity of their logistics and last-mile delivery partners, and in some cases causing bottlenecks that delayed customer orders. Online retailers have traditionally outsourced logistics and deliveries to minimise investment and fixed costs, and to give themselves the flexibility to scale up or down as demand fluctuates. However, as sales soar and online penetration rises, from about 8 per cent of total retail sales pre-pandemic to a forecast 20 per cent by 2023, investing in company-owned assets is starting to make sense for the larger online retailers. Kogan.com, which grew gross sales 97 per cent in the December half but blamed delivery delays for slower growth in January, is considering opening company-owned warehouses to augment distribution facilities operated by its third-party logistics partners eStore Logistics and CEVA Logistics. These warehouses would be highly automated to suit Kogan.com’s inventory needs and the e-tailer would use 3PL warehouses such as those operated by eStore for “flex” capacity at times of peak demand. eStore, which is part-owned by Mr Kogan, currently operates four of the e-tailer’s 15 third-party operated warehouses. Last June, eStore unveiled plans to invest $40 million opening two state-of-the-art fulfilment centres which use AI-enabled autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to speed up deliveries. Kogan’s last-mile pilot, which uses proprietary software and technology to help drivers deliver parcels using the most efficient routes, is still in the trial stage but was used to deliver thousands of orders before Christmas when other providers such as Australia Post were swamped. Online furniture and homewares retailer Temple & Webster, which experienced delivery delays during Black Friday, is considering establishing its own warehouses to improve customer service and add distribution capacity as it doubles sales of private-label goods. Online bookseller Booktopia, which last month reported a 51 per cent increase in December-half sales and a sixfold rise in underlying earnings, operates its Sydney distribution centre and last year invested $12 million in automation to double capacity to 60,000 units a day. Co-founder and chief executive Tony Nash said the e-tailer would consider insourcing fulfilment to augment last-mile deliveries by Australia Post. Duncan Brett, CEO of same-day delivery business Sherpa, said more retailers – particularly fashion retailers – were considering taking warehousing in-house after unsatisfactory third-party experiences. But demand for outsourced last-mile delivery services from online and bricks and mortar retailers such as Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse and Apple is booming. Sherpa’s delivery volumes rose more than 200 per cent last year and were growing more than 150 per cent this year, fuelled by demand for same-day and express deliveries. Catch Group chief executive Peter Sauerborn said the online retailer and marketplace operated its own warehouses but would consider using third-party logistics providers if it needed extra capacity. Catch, which reported a 96 per cent increase in gross transaction values in the December half, uses Australia Post and other carriers for the last mile and is experimenting with different ways of working with carriers to improve delivery speed and reduce costs. (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: AFR 5.03.2021