Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


E-fulfillment: The opportunity in same day delivery

By Bob Trebilcock, Editor at Large
December 02, 2013

Lately, I’ve been in full-blown grumpy old man mode. It started a couple of weeks ago when someone’s administrator asked me if I was planning to spend Thanksgiving with my grand kids. I will admit my mustache is greyer than it used to be, but hey, I’m not that old - am I? Last week, I sounded like Mr. Wilson from Dennis The Menace as I argued with a college kid across the street who insists on parking on the grass in front of my house rather than in the paved parking lot behind her building. I felt like a Luddite reading a story on same-day delivery
in the New York Times last week

The Times piece described the lengths eBay is going to roll out a new local shopping service that promises not just same day delivery, but delivery in about an hour. Available now in Manhattan, the Internet retailer has plans to soon offer the service out to 25 cities.

Now, we’ve all read about Amazon’s strategy of rolling out nearly 4 dozen distribution centers near major metropolitan areas in the U.S. to do same day delivery, a service that Amazon says is unprofitable, eBay is taking an entirely different tack. Rather than build millions of square feet of distribution space, eBay is deploying an army of bike messengers, cabbies and subway riders who get an alert on their phones, make a mad dash to the nearest retail partner (in the Times story, it was Babies “R” Us) to purchase the items needed to fill the order, then make another mad dash to deliver the order to the consumer in that one-hour time frame. All for 5 bucks - except that during the holiday season, eBay will offer the service for free.

Like Amazon, eBay tells us that it will lose money on the service. Instead, it’s all about building a loyal customer base, according to the Times.

The grumpy old man in me says this is just another of those crazy, Internet-only business models where companies are rewarded for losing money if they gain customers. The materials handling journalist in me says these are trends our industry needs to watch. Yes, retailers are presently looking at multi-channel distribution centers to fill Omni-channel orders. But I wonder if in the future - the very near future - much of this action isn’t going to move to the retail store to make the most of the brick and mortar infrastructure and get closer to the customer. We need to pay attention and figure out how our solutions fit in this new world.

About the Author

image
Bob Trebilcock
Editor at Large

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Transportation stakeholders reliant on North Carolina’s major seaports are welcoming news this week, which outlines plans to enhance the intermodal and cold chain network in the region.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.9 in February, which was 0.2 percent ahead of January and also 0.1 percent ahead of the 12-month average of 56.8. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector has grown for the last 61 months, according to ISM.

Non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services and logistics technology services provider Transplace said today that Brooks Bentz has joined the company in a newly-created role as president of Transplace Consulting in conjunction with the launch of the company’s new North American consulting services practice.

The advent of e-commerce continues to grow and gain increased traction over time. The many ways for consumers to order and purchase goods online continues to expand and leads to various subsequent byproducts of online purchases, including shopping through multiple channels, and delivery and payment options, among other things. These types of topics serve as the thesis in the second annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study issued this week by UPS and comScore Inc.

A major highlight of CEVA’s fourth quarter performance was its new business wins, which were up 14 percent for all of 2014, with Freight Management wins up 14 percent, and Ocean Freight and Air Freight wins up 30 percent and 14 percent, respectively, while Contract Logistics wins were up 2 percent.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA