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Supply Chain Insights

eCommerce Boom Calls for More Sustainable Supply Chains in Southeast Asia

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By James Christopher, President – Asia, TMX

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a dramatic eCommerce boom, altering the way companies do business. It has also changed consumer buying experiences, shifting the retail landscape.

As retailers benefit from the significant increase in eCommerce orders – Southeast Asia saw more than 60% increase in gross merchandise value (GMV) to US$62 billion in just one year in 2020[1] – more needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of supply chains.

In today’s world where consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally and socially conscious, the transport and logistics sector needs to focus on operating sustainably. This is not just for corporate governance and operational savings, but to establish their social license to operate and become more environmentally conscious.

As an example, the spike in door-to-door deliveries amidst social distancing measures has been taxing on last-mile delivery vehicles. This is evident in the rise of emissions from last-mile services, which are projected to further increase by more than 30 percent in 100 cities globally[2]. Unfortunately, as companies focus on getting goods to consumers quickly, this means delivery trucks prioritise speed over efficiency, often running below full capacity.

Concerns from consumers

Consumer focus on the environmental and social impact of the companies and businesses they buy from has been around for some time, but more people are becoming aware. Today, almost half of Southeast Asia consumers expect retailers to eliminate plastic bags and plastic wrapping for perishable items, while slightly over half expect businesses to be accountable for their environmental impact.[3]

Meanwhile, research has found that companies that successfully match customers’ sustainability expectations are rewarded with customer loyalty and an increase in revenue growth[4]. This means that businesses must have visibility in their supply chains to trace raw material inputs to last-mile delivery, further underscoring the need for sustainable supply chains.  

Road to resilience

Those who have adapted their business and operating models and created more agile supply chains to meet the boom in eCommerce, have found themselves ahead of the race in a changing market.

The adoption of technology in transport and logistics has evolved over the past decade, but COVID-19 was the catalyst that pushed for dramatic and rapid change in a short window of time.

Many operators have taken up route-optimisation to improve customer experience and reduce carbon footprint. Others have considered the type of fuel they use.

eCommerce has put immense pressure on last-mile logistics with customers placed as top priority. But what happens when customers don’t quite understand the impact of cheap and fast deliveries on the sustainability of supply chains?

As operators have raced to deliver huge order volumes over various online shopping festivals, the question remains whether cost to serve is being covered. Those who can optimise their costs are more likely to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as increasing margins.

But if you’re overservicing and running deliveries on half empty trucks, then a levy such as road user charge or carbon charge, might be necessary to change business processes and consumer behaviours.

The big challenge

Senior supply chain executives face sustainability issues daily as they look to ensure the organisation’s activities are aligned to the expectation of shareholders, including internal and external stakeholders.

Having the capability and metrics in place to identify and communicate social, environmental, and economic achievements is paramount to embedding sustainability thinking within an organisation.

Supply chain strategies should enable businesses to exceed sustainability ambitions across logistics functions. At TMX, we have designed solutions that are practical and adaptable for different companies across Asia Pacific to meet environmental goals and targets in line with customer, shareholder and community values and expectations. Some organisations have also the added importance of complying with legislative requirements. Setting the right targets is crucial, including making emissions a critical key performance indicator for companies.

The new normal

The pandemic has forced businesses to throw out their old manual in order to survive – and ultimately thrive – in these uncertain times. As companies are forced to relook at the way they operate, the opportunity is ripe for factoring in sustainability in all that they do.

eCommerce is here to stay. As such, leading companies need to crack the code around supply chain efficiencies, which will simultaneously reap environmental gains. This could include understanding the cost to serve or exploring the feasibility of multiple smaller warehouses or fulfilment centres in lieu of one large one, to ensure orders arrive on time.

Industrial occupiers across Southeast Asia have been incorporating sustainable practices in their facilities for a while now. Many have also been investing in solar panels and water recycling plants among other environmental-friendly initiatives in industrial property, which is ultimately reducing carbon emissions.

Tenants are also now seeking sites that are as a minimum a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold or Platinum standard certified or Green Mark Platinum rated, along with a requirement for LED lighting and efficient ventilation system. This demand is set to continue driving green initiatives in the industrial property market.

COVID-19 has propelled the industry forward by five years, having turbocharged online retail and forced businesses to pivot in order to stay relevant. Now more than ever, is the time to take charge of sustainable supply chains.

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Supply Chain

bp and Uber sign Global Strategic Delivery Partnership

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  • bp and Uber sign a new global strategic convenience partnership aiming to make more than 3,000 retail locations available on Uber Eats by 2025.
  • The partnership extends current local arrangements in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US, adding the UK and eastern US in 2022 and with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

Today, bp (NYSE: BP) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) are announcing a new global strategic convenience delivery partnership, extending their existing local arrangements to reach more consumers across the world. Together, the partners will offer a huge range of quality convenience products, including fresh and prepared ranges, from select retail locations.

bp is the first convenience retailer to team up with Uber Eats on a global level and aims to have more than 3,000 retail locations available on the delivery platform over the next three years. The partnership supports bp’s goal of growing its access to customers and expanding its delivery footprint, in response to soaring demand for food, groceries and everyday essentials brought to the door.

The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US. Sites in the UK and eastern US will be added to the app for the first time this year, with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

“We’re thrilled to team up with Uber Eats globally giving us the opportunity to reach many more consumers online in addition to those who currently visit our retail sites. We’ve seen how the pandemic has accelerated customer demand for delivered convenience and this partnership will allow us to scale up quickly on the Uber platform. And for the first time, we will be able to offer delivery options to existing customers on our own BPme app by the end of 2023,” said Emma Delaney, executive vice president customers & products, bp.

With 20,500 bp retail sites across the world and 550 million customers living within 20 minutes of a bp retail site, the partners see enormous opportunities for growth. bp sites offer a range of products tailored to local markets which may include hot and cold drinks, food-for-now options as well as staple groceries, fresh produce and ready meals, plus wine, beer and flowers.

  • In the UK, customers will be able to access a range of Wild Bean Café, and other branded food and products via Uber Eats – with the first 120 sites due live on the platform by the end of June.
  • In the US, the offer will be made available to bp’s network of independently owned retail locations to support the growth of their businesses. The goal is to make it easy for these partners to sign up to the Uber Eats platform and access benefits based on bp’s scale.

bp will benefit from Uber’s global brand and operations footprint, best-in-class technology for dispatching orders, and more than 4.4 million drivers and couriers on the platform worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Uber Eats and bp will work to introduce delivery options onto bp’s own app, BPme – initially planned to be available in the UK, US and Australia by the end of 2023 – powered by Uber Direct. This new offer will allow bp to directly connect its customers to delivery riders, making Uber Eats the trusted partner in fulfilling these orders. Since 2019, bp has seen a three-fold increase in users of the BPme app, with 16 million active loyalty users worldwide.

“With more than 20,500 locations around the world, bp’s reach is enormous—making them critical partners as we pursue our ambitions of helping consumers across the world get what they need delivered to their doorsteps,” said Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s SVP of Global Delivery. “We are proud to support this next phase of the company’s convenience growth through this delivery partnership and look forward to deeper collaboration in the future.”

bp and Uber already work together in mobility with bp providing electric vehicle charging for Uber’s ride-hail drivers. The companies will explore other areas for future cooperation in convenience, including opportunities to utilize low carbon delivery methods to fulfill orders from bp sites.

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Supply Chain Insights

Officeworks to own and control Distribution Network.

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Officeworks invests in supply chain capabilities, will own and run it’s distribution centre.

Officeworks has changed its supply chain strategy in the wake of COVID-19 issues, with a view to owning and controlling a network of distribution centres across the country.

“When I joined we had a different strategy around our supply chain,” Officeworks managing director Sarah Hunter told The Australian, referring to the company’s previous outsourcing strategy.

“So we’ve worked really hard now to build our supply chain capability. We were in the process of outsourcing it, we are now in the process of building that capability.

Officeworks recently opened Australia’s first solar-powered robotic distribution centre in Derrimut, Victoria.

“We started in Victoria, and we have had approval to build, now board approval to invest, and we are building a new, similar (distribution centre) operation in Western Australia. That’s exciting,” she said.

“Looking at our capital expenditure three, four, or five years ago it’s a material step up in our investment in our supply chain.

“Most importantly for us as a business is that every team member who worked at the old facility has been completely retrained,” she said. “We have 120 team members who are now fully trained in how to work in an automated state-of-the-art environment.”

The need to control its own distribution became clear during the pandemic.

By December, Officeworks saw 46 per cent of its business come from online, including click and collect. Now it needs to move to retain this growth at a cost effective scale.

“We have created a facility that’s not only more productive, it’s going to enable our online business to grow in Victoria and into NSW at the rate that we expect our online business will grow.

“So now we have the capacity, the cost per pick is materially lower because it’s much more productive. It’s a win-win scenario for us. We’ve kept everyone employed with really great job security. We’ve scaled them up to work in the supply chain of the future.

“And on top of that, we now have the capacity for growth in Victoria that frankly we were struggling with through COVID.”

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Logistics

E2open Acquires Global Multi-Carrier E-Commerce Shipping Software Platform Logistyx Technologies for $185 Million

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Combination brings complementary cloud-based solution and global multi-carrier e-commerce capabilities to E2open’s networked, end-to-end supply chain operating platform

E2open Parent Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ETWO), a leading network-based provider of a cloud-based, mission-critical, end-to-end supply chain management platform, has acquired Logistyx Technologies, a leader in global parcel and e-commerce shipping and fulfilment technology.

With the combination, E2open enhances its global footprint for multi-carrier e-commerce shipment management, offering companies a complete range of shipping capabilities needed to scale and respond to growing market needs.

“We are excited to welcome Logistyx Technologies’ team, clients, and capabilities to E2open,” said Michael Farlekas, chief executive officer at E2open. “The demand for e-commerce shipping capabilities continues to grow as companies look for more flexible and cost-effective ways to deliver products to consumers. This combination makes E2open the most comprehensive and integrated shipping solution provider, which covers all shipping modes including ocean, air, road, rail, and parcel, and is powered by a global network of carriers and logistics service providers. Logistyx is complementary to E2open’s existing platform, enabling E2open’s world-class clients to orchestrate their supply chains from demand to fulfilment, to supply.”

“We are excited to welcome Logistyx Technologies’ team, clients, and capabilities to E2open”

Michael Farlekas, chief executive officer at E2open

“The Logistyx team is thrilled to combine with E2open to enable more companies to ship smarter and benefit from the largest supply chain platform and network available,” said Geoffrey Finlay, chief executive officer at Logistyx. “We provide our customers, which include top retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers, the automation, visibility and flexibility needed to simplify global fulfillment and compete in an omnichannel world – all within a one-stop, connected platform.”

Compelling strategic benefits to accelerate growth

The Logistyx combination with E2open accelerates subscription revenue growth and unlocks strategic benefits for clients, including:

  • Increased reach as a global leader in transportation management for parcel shipping: Logistyx’s global parcel system augments E2open’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce offerings, creating a complete global footprint for multi-carrier parcel management.
  • Enhanced global parcel carrier network: The combination adds a carrier library of over 550 global carrier integrations including UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS, to E2open’s leading network. The solution manages the carrier certification process to keep clients in compliance, while making it easier to compare and review spot rate options, which is critical in a capacity-constrained environment.
  • Expanded client base: E2open’s client base will be enhanced by Logistyx’s strong global enterprise clients, which include many of the world’s leading retailers, manufacturers, and carriers.
  • Augmented product offerings: Logistyx’s clients will benefit from a combined portfolio that will not only expand shipping modes beyond parcel, but also enhance upstream capabilities to better orchestrate manufacturing, distribution, channel and trade operations.

Transaction Details

E2open acquired Logistyx Technologies for a total purchase price of $185 million ($250 million AUD), including $90 million paid in cash at closing and the remaining balance to be paid in two additional installments at 90 days and 180 days post-closing. E2open has the option to finance the remaining payments through cash or a combination of cash and E2open stock issued to sellers, at the company’s discretion.

The transaction was unanimously approved by E2open’s Board of Directors. Additional details about the agreement will be contained in a Current Report on a Form 8-K to be filed by E2open with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). For other related investor relations disclosures and presentation materials, please visit the investor relations section at e2open.com

Financial Highlights

In calendar year 2021, Logistyx grew in line with E2open’s current growth rate and achieved approximately $40 million in revenue. The combined business is expected to be accretive to E2open’s current organic growth rate given the cross-selling opportunities the combination creates.

The combination reflects a purchase price of approximately 11 times adjusted EBITDA when anticipated cost synergies are fully realized, which are expected to be within 18 months of closing.  E2open will include the full impact of the acquisition on revenue and adjusted EBITDA in conjunction with fiscal 2023 guidance, which will be provided with the fourth quarter earnings release scheduled for late April.

Berenson is serving as exclusive financial advisor to E2open, and Troutman Pepper is serving as legal advisor to E2open.

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