E-commerce shaping innovative logistics, service offerings
E-commerce, the electronic trade of goods and services, is reshaping the world of logistics and “forcing logistics providers to step up”, says logistics provider Dachser South Africa (SA) MD Detlev Duve. Print Send to Friend 0 0 “E-commerce is driving changes in customer needs and changes in the industry,” he says, noting that e-commerce entrepreneurs require a logistics partner “that understands this new dimension of logistics and can provide end-to-end services”.
Duve believes that, with the right logistics partner, retailers can reap the business benefits of improved communication, transparency in the supply chain, improved customer satisfaction, cost reduction and efficiency improvements. He points out that, from the moment an online order is placed to when it is selected, packed and shipped, every step in the process must be handled efficiently, consistently and cost effectively. “Evolved logistics partners provide solid warehousing infrastructure and value-added services that enable e-commerce businesses to outsource this entire process,” says Duve.
He advises businesses looking to secure a logistics partner to ensure that the provider can deliver tailor-made solutions that fit their unique needs and requirements. “In the world of e-commerce, same day or next-day delivery is a necessity, says Duve, adding that companies, therefore, need to ensure that their logistics partner is capable of this, and that they have a proven track record. He further highlights value-added services as another essential facet of a logistics partner. “Value-added services include the quality control of goods at the time of pick-up at the supplier’s warehouse, product finishing tasks, sleeving (foliation) or repackaging into new cartons,” Duve says.
Value-added services can also include product- orientated services, such as quality control, product refinement, assembly and disassembly work, as well as packaging and repackaging. Meanwhile, process-orientated value-added services can include order management, labelling and/or price marking, as well as the processing of returns or complaints. “Evolved logistics companies can perform all these necessary tasks,” says Duve. He adds that Dachser SA’s launch of a new head office, sales and logistics centre, including an extended multi-user warehouse facility in Gauteng, will enable the company to enhance its offering.
Extensions to the company’s facilities in Pomona, in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, include an additional 3 000 m2 of warehouse space, offering 4 300 pallet positions to industry in South Africa. The new centre, which was officially launched in February, provides Dachser SA’s clients the opportunity to save on their business costs, as they avoid needless inventory and complex handling outside their core capability. Dachser is now part of a handful of companies that offer this facility in South Africa, notes Duve. “We’ve taken our full logistics centre up a notch. As a logistics partner, we can effectively use our warehousing capacities to the fullest through flexible consolidation of multiple customers’ goods in our multi-user warehouses,” he says.
“The industry is changing and there are considerable price pressures,” says Duve, stressing that Dachser has always innovated according to clients’ needs. “We hope that this new warehousing facility will inspire clients, in turn, to be inspired, grow and to dare to venture into new projects that previously would have been too costly, ” he concludes.