Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Amazon warehouse in Miami helps local delivery companies find new Business

Let’s face it; Amazon is the Godfather of all ecommerce sites. It is not only the biggest online retailer in existence, it is one of the biggest retailers on the planet, and is the 4th largest company in existence, period. That is a lot of commerce. Since Amazon doesn’t have a single retail store anywhere in existence that has meant a whole lot of shipping over the years, which has helped many local delivery companies in many areas find new business.

Miami is the next great Metropolis to benefit from the benevolent online retail giant. Amazon has opened a new warehouse in Miami as part of its warehouse growth initiative to fulfill customer orders as quickly as possible. The company is expanding large warehouses into many regions in an effort to improve customer service, speed deliveries and to keep up with the incredible delivery demand that the company generates.

This means that many local delivery companies not only benefit from rush delivery orders, but they also meet new retail and ecommerce vendors that they can work with in the future. This can be a huge bonanza for local delivery companies, as many customers turn to Amazon for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Quick turnaround and delivery: Local delivery companies can help new warehouses fulfill their initiative as rapidly and effectively as possible.
  • Customers don’t visit the store, the store visits them: The ease of shopping from Amazon, especially on built in platforms in devices such as the Kindle, is conditioning people to expect and enjoy the benefits of online shopping and delivery. You can shop from the comfort of your own home. Once people get used to this they start ordering more delivered goods, leading to an increased need for local delivery services.
  • Ease of ordering: It is as simple as perusing a few pages, searching for what you want and clicking on it. Amazon even has single click, secured easy ordering options. Simply put no company makes it easier to order goods, which means that more people tend to buy and return for more.
  • Immediacy: With a local warehouse and a great local delivery service, a customer can have their order fulfilled in hours at a very affordable cost. So why fight with crowds or go out?
  • Free Advertising and Promotions: Local companies and ecommerce sites that use Amazon get free advertising and promotions through the company, plus built in SEO and branding opportunities that the company offers its partners. This can lead to more business and an even stronger need for an excellent local delivery service in the Miami area.

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Local Delivery Companies hit it Big Because of Ecommerce Sites

The delivery industry is booming more than ever before, and for quite obvious reasons. The digital age and specifically ecommerce sites have provided a tremendous amount of business for local delivery services. In fact, many companies are looking for cost effective, quick, dependable delivery services to keep customers happy and to try and keep up with the high volume of business that is flooding the market today.

Alacrity Package Delivery Service is a Miami delivery service that has gained incredible market share thanks to the ecommerce boom. They are always ready to handle more business, but the high volume of deliveries from the tremendous amount of good purchased online has exposed them as one of the best, most efficient delivery companies in the Greater Miami area. As any ecommerce business could tell you, an ecommerce or local business that ships a lot of goods can only be as successful as the delivery company that they hire.

Ecommerce companies are getting more business than ever before, and are slowly eliminating long standing brick and mortar stores. Why go shopping when you can shop at the same price from the comfort and safety of your own home? There’s no fuss, no crowds, and you can shop for what you want in minutes from the comfort of your favorite chair. But that requires the services of a great local delivery service.

Here are some prime examples of why local delivery services are booming, and why local businesses and good ecommerce sites need to find great local delivery services to partner with now.

  • Amazon – Amazon is the largest online retailer on the planet and is one of the 10 largest retailers PERIOD, without having one brick and mortar storefront. Far from the book exchange Amazon started as, the company boasts millions of customers and ships billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise each year.
  • EBay – This is the company that essentially started it all, offering a combination of bidding and selling platforms for anyone with anything to sell. Paypal was started to accommodate EBay transactions, and deliveries galore occur in many localities thanks to EBay.
  • Online Auctions – Who hasn’t heard of penny auctions? Online auctions account for many millions of dollars of shipping business each and every year.
  • Grocery Stores – That is correct, in many large cities people grocery shop online now, and the groceries are then delivered within hours. This is the trend of the future; soon virtual grocery stores will dominate the market.
  • Department Stores like Walmart and Target – These companies now ship nearly as much merchandise as they sell in their stores, accounting for tens of thousands of deliveries each and every day.
  • Local Ecommerce Stores – These are the companies that really need a great local delivery service to help them meet demand and grow market share.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why Using a Local Package Delivery Company Will Save You Money

While it might seem like a little thing, using a local delivery company can help you save money in a myriad of ways. Over time, the continued use of a local delivery company can add up to a good deal of savings. Aside from helping the local economy, using a local delivery company cuts costs in various methods. Here is a list of ways that using a local delivery company can help you save money over time:

  • Fuel: No driving to the store means no wasted gas. As we have all seen over the years gas can get quite expensive quite quick. Why waste gas money and wear and tear on your vehicle when you can very simply have goods delivered and save not only the cost but the time and the hassle as well. Isn’t the old saying ‘time is money’? Especially as gas and oil prices rise, the less you use your vehicle the more money you save, and using a local delivery company means that you are not wasting gas or oil.
  • Shipping charges: Local businesses mean that little to no shipping charges will be required for delivery. The further an item is shipped the more shipping and freight charges are incurred. These costs aren’t eaten by the seller or by the manufacturer of any good, they are passed on somewhere to the customer. By using local delivery services to deliver things from nearby, you are reducing or even eliminating expensive shipping charges, keeping your money in your pocket where it belongs.
  • Less Labor: The further that a package travels, the more people it will involve for delivery. By eliminating further travel you cut out the labor costs associated with a long trip. The goods don’t put themselves in a box or load themselves in a truck, label themselves or unload themselves. This means that people have to be paid to do these things. The more people that handle the package, the more people there are that have to be paid.
  • Eliminate cross-state taxes: You may not notice it but some states have higher sales taxes than others. Some states, like Oregon and Delaware, don’t eve’ have sales tax. But you could still be taxed on goods, or taxed on goods at a higher rate, on goods that you buy that you have shipped to you from long distance. Local shipping on local goods eliminates the possibility of cross state taxes or fees that can quickly add up.
  • Help the local economy, which in the long run helps you: This is not something that immediately puts dollars back into your bank account, but over time it can add up to a good deal of savings. Using local businesses and local delivery services means that you are putting money back into the local economy, which means you are helping to raise the standard of living. Over time that will mean a better quality of life for you and your loved ones, as basic economy 101 shows that a buoyant local economy tends to be good for the entire community.

If you are looking for a package delivery company in Miami you can trust, then call Alacrity Delivery. Alcrity offers express package delivery to all of the tri-county area.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Free Shipping is Costing More (As Small Packages Flood Delivery Networks) :: Talking Logistics with Adrian Gonzalez

Nothing in life is free — and this includes free shipping, which has become an albatross around the necks of most retailers and parcel carriers.

Parcel shipping is the fastest-growing logistics sector. According to CSCMP’s Annual State of Logistics Report published this week, “while overall transportation costs fell 0.7 percent last year, spending on package delivery services jumped 10 percent [to $86.3 billion]. Parcel and express delivery has surpassed railroads as the second-largest logistics sector behind motor freight [emphasis mine].”

The report goes on to state:

E-commerce has turned parcel delivery into the hottest logistics sector. Parcel volumes rose 6 percent last year as online retailers flooded delivery networks with small packages destined for individual consumers in their houses, apartments, offices, and dorm rooms. The surge shows no sign of abating as volumes rose 3 percent in early 2017, and forecasters predict parcel shipping revenues will climb to $93 billion by 2019 from $78 billion in 2015.

Kudos to the authors for choosing the verb “flooded” to describe how small packages have overwhelmed delivery networks in recent years, especially those of UPS and FedEx. And if the forecasters are correct, the floods will continue…

…which is why UPS on Monday announced “a new peak charge applicable during selected weeks in November and December 2017 for U.S. Residential, Large Packages and packages Over Maximum Limits. The new charge is designed to enable UPS to continue to provide best-in-class value to customers while offsetting some of the additional expenses incurred during significant volume surges.”

How much additional expenses is UPS incurring? About $4 billion this year to automate more package-sorting hubs and open new warehouses, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the press release, “from November 19 through December 23, UPS will also apply peak surcharges to Large Packages [$24 surcharge] and packages that exceed maximum size limits [$249 surcharge]. These charges are in addition to normal surcharges applicable to such packages. When shipping packages that exceed UPS’s published maximum size limits, customers are encouraged to consider using UPS Freight.”

What will be the impact of all these new charges? “The fees will force retailers to decide over the next few months whether to raise shipping prices—something that is difficult to do when online shoppers are reluctant to pay shipping fees—increase the prices of goods or eat the extra costs themselves,” writes Paul Ziobro from the Wall Street Journal. “Some may seek to avoid the surcharges by spreading holiday deals to other weeks during the season.”

We could also see more consumers opting for (or more retailers pushing consumers toward) click-and-collect. As Ziobro writes, “the charges apply only to residential deliveries, so retailers and shoppers may be able to avoid the charges by getting orders shipped to stores, an option retailers have been pushing for the past few years with varying success.”

What will FedEx do? Probably thank UPS for taking the lead and implement its own surcharges too.

What will Amazon do? It will continue to lose money on shipping ($7.2 billion in 2016) and not care as long as the profits from its Amazon Web Services division continue to pay for it. Check out these charts from GeekWire:

What will you do? Now that’s the hardest question.

Will we as consumers be willing to pay more for shipping? Probably not, that ship has sailed a long time ago. Amazon Prime, which has about 80 million members in the United States, has conditioned many of us to expect free 2-day shipping.

The options Ziobro highlights in his article are all valid options: try to shift demand to non-peak weeks and/or entice more customers to choose click-and-collect as a delivery option.

You can try to offset the increased shipping costs by becoming more efficient in other parts of your logistics operations — e.g., are you missing opportunities to consolidate orders into a single shipment? Are you still shipping lots of air? Can you simplify and automate your pick and pack operations?

The bottom line is that free shipping is costing more, and as parcel shipping continues to grow and small packages continue to flood delivery networks, somebody has to pay the bill. UPS is basically saying, “I’m done holding this bill, it’s time for all of you to chip in.”

The free lunch is over.

On – 22 Jun, 2017 By Adrian Gonzalez

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Is Walmart’s new last-mile delivery program brilliant — or a disaster in the making? | Retail Dive


Is Walmart’s new last-mile delivery program brilliant — or a disaster in the making?

The Uber-like program will have store associates delivering packages on their way home from work. Will it work for Walmart?


June 14, 2017

Walmart store associates may be coming soon to shoppers’ doorsteps.

Walmart announced earlier this month that it was testing a new delivery method — one that has store associates making deliveries on their way home from work. Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce, pointed out on the company’s blog that 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store. Product is already being delivered to stores and associates can sign up each day to take packages to their final destination and earn a little extra money.

“Walmart has strength in numbers with 4,700 stores across the U.S. and more than a million associates,” Lore said. “Now imagine all the routes our associates drive to and from work and the houses they pass along the way.”

While the program is currently being tested at three stores — two in New Jersey and one in Arkansas — the system is an example of how multichannel merchants can further leverage their installed store base to compete with Amazon, its network of distribution centers, and a growing fleet of delivery options.

“This effort provides Walmart with even more control over the last mile, which we believe is critical in retail, and remains an advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers as speed to the customer gains increasing importance,” Moody’s Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O’Shea told Retail Dive in an email.

But while Lore’s technology-based approach and Walmart’s many stores may be up to the challenge, it’s an extremely complex endeavor that doesn’t quite fit with Walmart’s longtime efficiencies in consumer goods distribution, which entails the customer taking care of that last mile. The program is either an ingenious attempt to address last-mile delivery problems — or terribly misguided, depending on who you talk to.

As rival retailers ponder how to compete with Amazon’s robust delivery infrastructure and make the most of their store footprints, the discussion forum RetailWire asked its BrainTrust panel of retail experts the following questions:

  • Do you see Walmart’s use of employees to make deliveries on their way home from work as a potential last mile game changer for the retailer?
  • What do you see as the benefits and potential pitfalls of this program?

Here are eight of the most provocative and insightful comments from the discussion. Comments have been edited by Retail Dive for length and clarity.

Mark Ryski, Founder and CEO, HeadCount Corp.: I’m not sure if it will ultimately be a game-changer, but full points to Walmart for thinking about the delivery challenge in a completely new way. One of the big benefits is in providing employees an opportunity to earn additional income — essentially “Uberizing” employees’ commute home. Making the program voluntary is an important element of the program since not all employees will want to do this. And if this gets customers their deliveries sooner, that’s great too. Of course there are plenty of ways this could go wrong, but I’m sure Walmart will stress test the idea thoroughly before it gets too far. Overall, I think this is a great example of how innovation doesn’t always need to be just about technology.

Ken Lonyai, Digital Innovation Strategist, Co-Founder, ScreenPlay InterActive: Walmart is not known for the happiest employees. Even with pay, I don’t think too many will openly embrace this idea. If they do, there are umpteen things that can go wrong with this idea that make it sound, to me, like a cheap and desperate move by management. Back to the drawing board guys.

Mel Kleiman, President, Humetrics: I am not a lawyer but all I see is a major liability problem for Walmart if one of those employees has an accident on the way to delivering an order. How are the workers going to be compensated for time and mileage?

Steve Montgomery, President, b2b Solutions, LLC: The concept sounds simple but as with many things the devil is in the details. An employee who is driving home from work is off the clock and no longer being paid by Walmart. However, if they are delivering packages for the company they would be eligible for compensation. If the time delivering the packages bumps them up to the number of hours to be considered full-time they would be eligible for the benefits that come with that status. If the delivery time took them over 40 hours, overtime would have to be paid. As an employee on the clock is Walmart still legally responsible for their actions?

Some other details would be: does the driver get paid mileage, who is responsible if they have an accident and what happens if the packages get damaged, stolen or lost in transit?

Charles Dimov, Director of Marketing, OrderDynamics: Game changer — no. Innovative? Definitely. Kudos to Walmart for looking at ways to improve and strengthen their service offering while improving their margins. Presuming they will pay their employees a benefit for doing this last mile delivery, it is another great way to tap into their own resources to drive the holistic benefits of omnichannel retail.

In fact, at a time when so many retailers have been closing their physical presence, this type of out-of-the box thinking needs to happen more with retailers. This empowers employees to make a difference that can count in supporting the company and their important roles. Well done Walmart — keep surprising us!

Art Suriano, CEO, The TSi Co.: Think back to the days of when in the ’50s and ’60s. We had the bread man, the milk man, the egg man and much more all making home deliveries. There was more than just a purchase of an item and payment; there was a relationship formed with the customer and the delivery person. I see the same benefit here with many of the store associates delivering items to customers. If they are well trained and engage with the customers they meet, this could be very beneficial for all parties involved.

Ron Margulis, Manager Director, RAM Communications: One wonders if the employees will be picking up returns on their way to work.

Christopher P. Ramey, President, Affluent Insights & The Home Trust International: Independent and/or small businesses owners (and employees) have always delivered products “on the way home.” Why not? Employees will like it because they get out of the store earlier. They’ll also, if they carefully manage it, keep count on mileage for tax purposes. Management will enjoy leveraging a key differentiator: feet on the street to serve clients.

The only “ah-ha” to the strategy is why it took so long.

Follow Laura Heller on Twitter

Top image credit: Wal-Mart

On – 14 Jun, 2017 By Laura Heller

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