Speedier, on-demand delivery on the rise

Delivery partners, however, now have limited to generate income due to restrictions such as shorter operation hours and roadblocks

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by TMR FILE

CONSUMERS expect express delivery options these days, thanks to on-demand couriers that have been seeing higher demand ever since the first Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced last year.

Lalamove Malaysia MD Jane Teh said during the recent Enhanced MCO, Lalamove’s delivery orders increased 10 times compared to before the pandemic began.

She said today’s on-demand delivery is not limited to small or perishable items like food and parcels as the group also saw a spike in large item delivery orders.

“Our large delivery vehicles are being used by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from various industries as a long-term logistics solution to boost operational efficiency.

“Consumers are also leveraging the speed of on-demand delivery for faster house moving services with our large vehicles like pickup trucks, vans or lorries,” Teh told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

As an on-demand delivery provider, Lalamove has found itself in the centre of heightened demand for faster and simpler digital logistics solutions in the new norm.

The platform recorded a triple growth of active users in the first quarter of 2021, while the volume of deliveries was fivefold higher than a year ago.

Currently, up to 200,000 regular consumers and SMEs rely on Lalamove to move documents and parcels.

“Our platform offers flexible earning opportunities for riders and drivers whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic.

“The growing number of drivers is also contributed by our expansion in Penang and Johor Baru,” she added.

At the moment, Lalamove has not seen any significant impact on operations as its delivery partners have been able to conduct their daily tasks with letters issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the company.

“The only fall back was the limited time our delivery partners have now to generate income due to shorter operation hours and roadblocks, which could cost some of our partners’ time to complete more deliveries,” Teh said.

Echoing the same sentiment, Ninja Van Malaysia CEO Adzim Halim said its operations have been affected by the restrictions due to limited operating hours, reducing their window for deliveries.

“There had also been significant delays for deliveries in East Malaysia due to limited freighters and overall cargo capacity,” he told TMR.

Adzim said on-time delivery continues to be a challenge as the shift has not only resulted in a change of consumer buying behaviour, but expectations too.

“Consumers now expect fast, free shipping and competitive pricing, and logistic players are transforming to meet the demand. We have continued to see a huge spike in parcel volumes since the first lockdown in March last year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the move to e-commerce by about five years,” he added.

Adzim believes that this has created a new normal for both consumers and industry players alike, with one out of three people now preferring to shop online even after the restrictions are lifted.

“We have observed our parcel volume grow more than 2.5 times during the entire MCO period.

“We have a few thousand drivers on the road at any one time and we are constantly expanding our team to ensure that we can deal with the higher volume parcels due to sales and the MCO,” he concluded.