DHL gives retailers more fulfillment options
The company is expanding its e-commerce order fulfillment service for merchants in North America, with investments in storage and mechanization to support the growing needs of U.S. retailers.
“The e-commerce market in the U.S. is estimated to have grown by 15.6% in 2016 with sales topping $531 billion, and increasingly e-tailers are seeking fulfillment solutions to enable an omnichannel experience for end consumers,” said Lee Spratt, CEO DHL e-commerce Americas. “We see a huge demand from U.S. e-commerce players needing best-in-class e-commerce logistics solutions and we’re expanding our capabilities to support these growing demands. Besides doubling our existing U.S. fulfillment centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Riverside, Calif., and enhancing them with greater automation, we also plan to add an additional center in New Jersey.”
The U.S. expansion comes after DHL's announcement last year that it would increase its e-commerce capability, as the German mail and logistics giant seeks to better compete in the world’s largest cross-border package-delivery market. DHL said it planned to build eight new e-commerce distribution centers and expand two that it is already operating. The company has 20 distribution centers in North America.
The DHL e-commerce fulfillment centers, operated in conjunction with DHL Supply Chain, are located near major urban centers, allowing merchants to position their inventory closer to their customers, improving their time to market while reducing shipping costs. The solution is targeted to retailers shipping between 300 and 15,000 orders per day, and supports both B2C and B2B transactions.
The facilities are engineered as shared-use fulfillment centers, allowing customers to share space and assets within the warehouse. Customers are charged only for the transactions they have within the warehouse with fees for receiving, storage, and outbound pick and pack. Given the volatile and seasonal nature of e-commerce, removing the fixed cost burden is a huge relief for retailers.
“Today’s market is placing aggressive demands on the retailer to provide fast fulfillment and delivery, and doing so without increasing costs. This is a challenge for most because of the required capital and complexity. We’ve built a platform that provides seamless access to a network of fulfillment centers and is closely integrated with our shipping capabilities to allow our customers to meet two to three day requirements in a much more economical fashion,” said Craig Morris, VP Strategy & Product Management, DHL e-commerce Americas.