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Logistics & Fulfilment

DHL opens e-commerce fulfilment centre in Sydney

DHL eCommerce, a division of global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, has opened a new fulfilment centre in Australia this week.

Co-located with sister division DHL Supply Chain in a 17,000sqm facility in Sydney, the fulfilment centre supports cross-border shipping, inventory management and last-mile delivery for e-commerce retailers.

It’s the latest addition to DHL’s network of ‘plug-and-play’ fulfilment centres, designed to make overseas expansion easier for brands and retailers.

“For a lot of online businesses, as soon as they open their websites, they’re doing business with the world,” DHL eCommerce’s managing director of Australia Damien Sheehan said.

With DHL eCommerce “nodes” in Europe, the Americas and Asia all operating on the same service level agreements, management platforms and customer support, the logistics provider aims to simplify international order fulfilment.

Australian e-commerce company, The Healthy Chef, has been fulfilling its domestic and international orders through the Sydney centre for several months already, while US-based skincare company Nerium International was the first brand to go live in the centre in October 2016.

According to Sheehan, over a dozen companies have expressed interest in the offering.

“I think there will be quite a lot of interest from Australian e-tailers, retailers and brands, especially with their current or future plans to go cross-border to the Asian markets,” he said.

The fulfilment centre supports front-end integration with a range of marketplace and web-shop platforms and multichannel order management, as well as last-mile delivery through Australia Post’s StarTrack courier service. All services operate on a pay-per-use model with no capital spend or fixed costs.

Sheehan said DHL eCommerce will expand its footprint in Australia as the market demands. He also said the logistics company would consider layering in more delivery service providers going forward to offer after-hours and weekend deliveries.

“The challenge is that flexibility in logistics is sometimes an oxymoron when you also have to provide reliability. The industry has come a long way, but we still have a way to go,” he said.

The new fulfilment centre also makes it easier for international brands and retailers to deliver to Australian consumers, who are notoriously eager to buy from overseas merchants online.

“Australian shoppers are the second-most likely in the world to buy online from overseas merchants, and the significance of their purchasing power will only increase as cross-border e-commerce grows at an average of 29 per cent per year until 2020,” Sheehan said.

“Online retailers need to overcome the traditional problems associated with overseas expansion – finding new suppliers in each market, delivering shipments within days not weeks, and keeping costs in check – if they want to stay competitive in this borderless future.”

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