Descartes Acquires Shiptrack for Start-to-Finish Solutions
On Nov. 6th , a global leader in uniting businesses in commerce by providing cloud-based logistics and supply chain solutions, acquired , a provider of cloud-based mobile resource management and shipment tracking solutions, in an effort to combine their respective technologies and experience to improve the final-mile in the delivery process, among other aspects.
“We believe there is a permanent shift in buying preferences underway that will continue to see an increasing number of goods being bought online,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO, in a statement. “Descartes continues to invest in our e-commerce capabilities to make sure that our customers, large and small, can fulfil orders and meet delivery commitments efficiently. ShipTrack complements this strategy, and, when combined with our advanced Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite of solutions, fills a gap in the market. We’re looking forward to working with the ShipTrack customers, partners and team of domain experts to help the final-mile carrier community capitalize on these changing market dynamics.”
Shiptrack co-founder Shawn Winter noted in a statement the shared sentiment of the importance of final-mile carriers and expanding upon their resources and availability: “Our platform helps final-mile carriers meet that challenge head-on with powerful workflows across delivery processes and the ability to expose information to consumers in real-time,” said Winter. “By joining forces with Descartes, we see an opportunity to create a truly differentiated product that combines our advanced final-mile solutions with Descartes route optimization and reservations capabilities.”
2020 has been an important year for the e-commerce sector, as more and more people are ordering packages online, making the streamlining of any supply chain, in all aspects, essential to thrive in a more demanding market.
Chris Jones, Descartes EVP, Marketing and Services, echoes this sentiment, and goes on to elaborate on the effectiveness of Descartes’ logistical solutions “This year has accelerated a shift in customer buying preferences, and we see an increasing number of goods being bought online and delivered to homes,” Jones explained. “We’re always looking for opportunities to expand our ability to serve the greater e-commerce ecosystem. The benefits of the acquisition go beyond our shipper customers, as the ShipTrack solutions help logistics companies as well. Many logistics companies actually work with other logistics companies to serve broader markets, handle spikes in demand and provide a broad array of services. ShipTrack excels at integrating these organizations together so they can act as one for their shipper customers.”
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.