UPS announces launch of self-storage service
UPS’ innovation enables its customers to request the d...
The logistics giants, UPS, has announced the launch of a new service called Storage on Demand.
UPS’ innovation enables its customers to request the delivery of empty storage bins directly to its home or business through a mobile-friendly website. It then allows customers to fill the bins with belongings and seal them once packed before arranging pickup for its items to be driven to a secure, nearby UPS facility for storage.
Through “valet storage”, it allows UPS’ customers to use the website in order to retrieve its warehoused items and have them delivered back to their front door with same day service.
“Storage on Demand solves a problem that is becoming nearly universal as our population and demographics evolve. Millennials are moving into small homes in crowded urban areas. Baby boomers are downsizing for retirement. And small businesses need space for excess inventory,” commented Darren Kamensek, strategy and innovation manager for UPS and one of the co-founders of Storage on Demand. “The problem is that there aren’t many services that truly provide end-to-end storage and quick, easy retrieval of goods – Storage on Demand solves all of that.”
The news follows UPS’ intention to increase its fleet following the addition of 6,000 natural gas vehicles. The plans showcase a three-year commitment to invest $450mn in the expansion of UPS’ alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet.
The firm are also set to convert 33 diesel vehicles to electric and hybrid models. “Fleet electrification is one of the areas where we seek to act as an industry leader,” said Luke Wake, Director of Automotive Engineering & Advanced Technology Group, UPS International. “Our operations are well suited toward electric vehicle technologies but the lack of vehicle availability continues to prove frustrating. As one of the world’s leading logistics providers, we want to show with these conversions that the technology is here today, it’s real, it works and we want to encourage the mass adoption of commercial electric vehicles in the marketplace.”
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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’.