By Rachelle Harry
Kawal Preet, president, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, FedEx Express, tells Air Cargo News about the steps the company is taking to support the growing e-commerce market.
How does FedEx’s recent flight/network expansion cater for growing e-commerce demand?
We are taking bold steps to support Asia Pacific businesses, and recently introduced six new intercontinental flights originating from Asia Pacific (APAC) to empower our customers to harness the full potential of cross-border commerce.
As the year-end holiday peak season approaches we’re expecting to see further acceleration of the e-commerce sector which has already leapfrogged traditional commerce by as much as five times.
These new flights will provide APAC businesses with the reliable capacity and the enhanced services they need at this important time of year. They also contribute to the total of 225 weekly flights we operate in and out of the APAC region which are forging stronger intra-Asia, trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trade flows.
In addition, we have been implementing fleet modernisation by replacing Boeing 757 narrow body freighters with Boeing 767 wide-body freighters in APAC. This has resulted in almost double the capacity to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, which importers and exporters can tap into to grow their business.
What other services and products does FedEx have in place to support cross-border e-commerce?
Building a robust, e-commerce ecosystem, which delivers an outstanding differentiated service that our customers value is a top priority for us. The global cross-border e-commerce logistics market is expected to grow by $44.6bn from 2021-2025.
E-tailers are adapting to meet consumer expectations in this post-pandemic, digital-first era by re-imagining their physical assets and making significant upgrades to their current logistics networks.
We have a suite of digital tools that help make shipping easier for both the e-tailer and their customers.
For example, FedEx Ship Manager is a software solution that enables e-tailers to automate and simplify the shipping process by accessing forms, preparing shipping labels and documentation using stored databases of addresses and commodities. It also tracks the status of shipments and generates customisable reports.
Our interactive e-commerce solutions like FedEx Delivery Manager International allows e-tailers to offer their customers the freedom to manage delivery preferences.
E-tailers can provide their customers with delivery tracking and the ability to customise the schedule and location of their deliveries. Added security and convenience goes a long way in boosting consumer confidence and loyalty for the e-tailer.
In addition to our newest cross-border e-commerce solution FedEx International Connect Plus (FICP), we are also building out what we call our Compatible and Alliances programmes to provide e-tailers with instant access to enhanced and affordable shipping solutions, allowing them to sell effortlessly on e-commerce platforms.
This kind of support can help SMEs instantly scale up their delivery capabilities and capture a share of the region’s booming APAC e-commerce market.
What is FICP and how is it supporting e-commerce shippers?
FICP is our new cross-border e-commerce solution. It provides e-tailers with value-for-money day-definite delivery within one to five business days across ten markets across Asia.
These markets are Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Consumers continue to redefine the way they shop. They expect brands and e-tailers to offer convenient, flexible and technologically advanced experiences.
Delivery is a critical component in decision making when they shop online. Around 40% of consumers won’t complete checkout if they perceive delivery costs as being too high. Another 10% will abandon their cart if a package cannot be delivered on time or flexible delivery options are not available.
With FICP, e-tailers are able to offer their end-customers attractive prices without compromising speed of delivery.
E-merchants can also offer their customers the flexibility of receiving their delivery at home, or from a pick-up location nearby, and the ability to change delivery date and location. Receivers can also track their delivery and receive notifications along the way.
Digital retail sales in Asia Pacific expected to touch nearly USD $2.9tr in 2021, and cross-border e-commerce continues to be a significant business driver. Being able to offer a cost-effective service with competitive transit helps meet heightened consumer expectations and helps businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Please outline FedEx roadmap for supporting e-commerce shippers.
The acceleration of trends experienced in the past year highlight the importance of our ongoing initiatives to win globally in e-commerce.
Our strategy aims to solidify our leadership in B2B businesses while expanding our footprint in the B2C sector considering the rapid growth of e-commerce in the region.
Looking ahead, we will continue to leverage the strength of our global networks, expand our portfolio and invest in technologies and testing to optimize last-mile deliveries. Our recent introduction of Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot, to the Japan market is a good example of that.
Strategic partnerships with leading industry players will also help us advance our e-commerce service offer.
For example, our multi-year global collaboration with Microsoft supports FedEx Surround, and allows our customers enhanced visibility into their supply chain, leveraging data to provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking, driving precise logistics and inventory management.
Services like these are important as data and analytics will play a growing role in supporting the on-demand economy.
We are excited about the future and building our network for what’s next. Our approach is enabling us to help our customers grow their businesses in a booming e-commerce environment.
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