The local shipping and logistics industry has seen a massive surge in demand since going into lockdown in August, and despite restrictions easing online shopping has continued to be popular amongst Kiwis, with no signs of demand slowing.
It’s anticipated this will be an ongoing issue until Christmas and local industry players, such as leading shipping fulfillment software Starshipit, are advising retailers who deliver that 2021 is predicted to be NZ’s earliest holiday shopping season in history.
Founder and CEO of Starshipit, George Plummer, says in these times of significant shipping delays, retailers should look to third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
“They can be a massive help when it comes to bearing some of the load with getting online orders out the door sooner and keeping customers happy.”
How exactly can a 3PL provider help retailers?
3PLs can help to manage product dispatch with the merchants once a sale is made. They then manage the shipping fulfillment with other external courier providers – taking the stress of the logistics out of the equation for the merchant, allowing them to focus more on their own business.
3 key reasons to use a third-party logistics provider:
- Scale with ease – Using a 3PL provider will increase retailers capacity to fulfil orders at pace.
- Professional customer experience – Using a 3PL will allow retailers to offer a professional and seamless delivery service.
- Tailored services – When retailers work with a good 3PL provider, they tailor their services and give them a dedicated team who are on standby to meet their needs.
Online Distribution (3PL) case study
Online Distribution is New Zealand’s leading 3PL service, helping more than 150 clients from its local warehouses in Christchurch and Auckland through its logistics expertise and value to retail businesses. Its clients range from high growth eCommerce start-ups to large-scale multi-nationals and span industries including pharmaceutical, healthcare, retail, eCommerce, hardware, FMCG.
Online Distribution selected Starshipit to be their web-based solution to managing multiple clients from their warehouses. This allows them to have multi-courier integration that also complements their own warehouse management system.
Returns are also a crucial part of the customer experience but can be notoriously difficult for eCommerce merchants to manage. In one instance, Starshipit teamed up with Online Distribution and one of their high volume trans-Tasman customers to develop a tailored solution. An automatically generated returns label included in each outbound order provides for an efficient customer-centric and cost-effective returns solution.
“As the trusted fulfillment partner to over 150 growing businesses, our team must juggle the requirements of various stakeholders with the demands of error-free last-mile delivery expectations,” says David Potter, Distribution & Logistics Analyst at Online Distribution.
“Historically, we found that logging into different courier platforms and manually entering order data was both onerous and error-prone.”
Potter says Starshipit has been a fantastic tool that has been easily adopted by dispatch teams throughout the country, saving valuable time every day.
“Our accuracy and lead times have been improved through consolidation of multiple courier dispatch systems and standardisation of our shipping and fulfillment processes.
“As the data is cloud-based, customer response times have also been improved.”