Necessity is the mother of invention. To offset the high costs and intense aggravation of accepting online product returns, companies have decided to get humans involved in the process. According to Business Insider, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is testing a program in which packages can be returned in person to its Amazon Go stores. Department store giant Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS) has launched what appears to be a successful initiative to allow Amazon customers to bring parcels to Kohl’s locations. The programs, which are the natural extension of the buy-online-pick-up-in-store endeavors, seem to have multiple benefits. For merchants and retailers, the cost of processing a parcel returned to the store is half that of picking up a return at a home or office. Many customers prefer to return items to the store than wait for a pickup, which may be an outgrowth of some consumers’ desire to shop any and every chance they get. That too is a boon to retailers.
Did you know?
About 64% of U.S. internet users are “extremely” or “very” interested in next-day shipping services, according to a seven-year survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets LLC.
“Amazon has pushed the envelope too far.”
— Transportation attorney Henry E. Seaton on the e-tailer’s dicey independent contractor strategy for its logistics operations.
In other news:
Indonesia haunted by poor safety standards, corruption
Several road accidents involving large trucks in the past few months have raised questions over safety standards in the logistics services, the backbone of the nation’s economy. (Jakarta Post)
Giretka Logistics to make post-Brexit push into UK
Europe’s largest owner of trucks is poised to make an aggressive push into the U.K. in spite of the possibility of short-term chaos from a no-deal Brexit. The Lithuanian freight group owns and operates almost 7,000 trucks across Europe. (Financial Times)
Jungenreich seeks to reshape the manufacturing sector
The forklift truck maker said it plans to leverage the latest manufacturing trends in order to remain a leader in the industry. (Supply Chain Digital)
Mobility mania at European conference
Urban logistics, electric mobility, parking and environmental issues will be on the agenda at the EPA Congress & Exhibition, set for Sept. 18-19 in Malaga, Spain. (Parking-net)
Permits filed for FedEx Logistics Memphis HQ project
Somera Road, the New York company that owns the Gibson Guitar Factory building in downtown Memphis, TN, has filed a permit worth nearly $33 million to transform the space into the new headquarters for FedEx Logistics. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Young bucks who call themselves logistics “disruptors” need to understand that the companies doing much of the disrupting are the established players with decades of expertise, loyal customer bases and deep enough pockets to do what the newbies do, if not more. For example, Expeditors, which has forgotten more about international freight forwarding and customs brokerage that any cluster of new companies could hope to know, has an IT suite that includes Cargo Signal, an ocean freight planning and forecasting tool called Carrier Allocation and an online booking service called Koho. Ben Hartford, an analyst for investment firm Baird, said in a Sept. 9 research note that the technology reflects Expeditors’ “emphasis on continued innovation” and provides “incremental opportunities for organic growth.” Not included in Hartford’s analysis is that the technology is backed by a depth of knowledge that comes only with working in international trade for 40 years.
Hammer down, everyone!