Integrators push further into APAC e-commerce

The Genco and Bongo acquisitions by FedEx along with UPS’ own recent acquisition of i-Parcel indicates increasing interest in global e-commerce logistics. However, domestic Asia Pacific e-commerce presents a unique opportunity for the integrators. Indeed, estimates from eMarketer suggest this region is the largest e-commerce market and represents 35% of global e-commerce sales.

To take advantage, integrators are taking steps to expand its reach. For example, earlier in the year, FedEx and UPS received additional licenses to operate within China’s domestic express package market. Each license allowed the providers, and their joint-venture partners, to operate B2C domestic express package service within a single city and between cities for which a license was also held.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Post DHL’s rebranded group, Post-eCommerce-Parcel, is investing in India’s e-commerce market as sort of a test market for the rest of the region while DHL Supply Chain and DHL Freight Forwarding are expanding facilities in China over the next few years.

Now comes word that UPS has established an agreement with 7-eleven stores at Shell petrol stations in Singapore to serve as alternative delivery points. According to UPS, “The online shopping market in Singapore is projected to reach SG$4.4bn by 2015, and our customers have raised concerns about not being available to sign off on their purchases when they arrive”.

The press release further notes that the new solution will offer customers the flexibility of collecting packages coming from selected online retailers, at the closest participating Shell ADL, if they are not available when UPS makes the first delivery attempt. With 7-Eleven operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the 20 strategically-located outlets participating in the initiative would allow customers to retrieve their packages from a secure and staffed location at their convenience.

Could this initiative be a test ahead of a potential expansion of its successful UPS Access Point? It’s proven successful in Europe and is now available in select US cities with plans for further expansion throughout the US during 2015.

The Asia Pacific e-commerce market is full of great potential and a market in which competition is on the rise. Will integrators such as Deutsche Post DHL, FedEx and UPS achieve success, will Asia Pacific based competition such as Singapore Post and SF Express prevail or is there room for all?