Delivery services a booming industry

MCO 2.0 presents a golden opportunity for industry players to capitalise the situation and enhance their market presence

By NUR HANANI AZMAN / Pic TMR

WITH the Movement Control Order (MCO) once again taking away the pleasure of physical shopping, a further increase in demand for courier services is anticipated.

While courier services are deemed essential and companies are running at full tilt, some may fulfil deliveries at a slower rate in compliance with reduced manpower and social distancing measures.

The situation has presented an opportunity for industry players to renew operational systems, digitalise their operations and improve on effectiveness, efficiency and resilience.

DHL Express (M) Sdn Bhd was ahead of the pandemic when it started its digitalisation journey before 2020 to continually enhance customer safety and experience.

DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei MD Julian Neo said now with Covid- 19, the company mitigates the risk of infection by employing contactless pick-up and delivery, and eliminating the need for any physical contact between couriers and customers.

“On-demand delivery has also long been a staple of our services in Malaysia, giving customers the choice of date and time for both pick-up and delivery,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Additionally, DHL Express has brought the power of shipping to Malaysians’ fingertips with DHLontheGo.

Hosted entirely on WhatsApp, it enables mobile capabilities for the most popular enquiries, communicated in real-time via instant chat.

Just via a text message, customers can receive shipping estimates, schedule pick-ups, complete secured payments and track deliveries to anywhere across the country as well as DHL Express’ network of more than 220 territories globally.

Both DHLontheGo and the live customer service chats are powered by automated artificial intelligence solutions. The group will continue to invest in this area to stay in the game.

As a company with an extensive global presence which spans over 220 countries and territories, Neo said the pandemic is well within its business continuity plan (BCP).

“We follow a holistic management process which enables us to minimise disruption to our operations and continue to deliver for our customers in a compliant, safe and responsible manner.

“In managing our operational capacity and maintaining our trademark speed of service, the volatility of e-commerce is part and parcel of our day-to-day analysis and contingency preparation,” he said.

This ensures DHL Express’ readiness for peaks and troughs in the different seasons of the changing market, including during this MCO 2.0.

“In the early period of last year’s MCO, our operations were initially affected, but we recovered to optimal levels within a matter of days as our BCP kicked in,” Neo added.

EasyParcel co-founder and CEO Clarence Leong said during last year MCO, the surge in online shopping had directly contributed to the growth of the logistics industry.

He said EasyParcel saw a spike in sales resulting in about 40% of revenue growth from its Malaysia and Singapore markets, where full movement restrictions and lockdowns were imposed.

“Our business in Indonesia and Thailand markets was not really affected as their lockdowns were zone-specific,” he told TMR.

Considering this and the effect of the first MCO, he believed that courier and shipping companies will be among the businesses that can sustain during the pandemic and continue to experience larger volumes of deliveries.

“The rise of market volume, mainly in the e-commerce industry, has made it clear that expanding in the region is a must for EasyParcel to help even more sellers ship the parcels across the Asean region,” he added.

Confident with the industry outlook, Dego Malaysia Sdn Bhd founder and CEO Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj (picture) intended to penetrate the food and beverage (F&B), grocery and mart segments this year.

“Due to the positive data and feedback, we are also looking to further expand to delivering non-food items to consumers.

“We currently cover the Klang Valley but will expand to other areas at a later date,” he told TMR.

Dego Ride, a motorcycle taxi service, joined the bandwagon and began providing courier and food delivery services to its customers with more than 28,000 riders having signed up so far.

Nabil said the group looks forward to continuing the recruitment of riders to match the growing demand.

“Thankfully for MCO 2.0, Dego and the ecosystem of merchant partners are better prepared.

“We would not have been able to fulfil customers’ demand without merchant partners’ commitment to serve their local consumers,” he concluded.