Ahead of the World Mail & Express Asia (WMX Asia) Conference in Hong Kong, we caught up with Eddie Lee, CEO – Southeast Asia Region at ECMS Express. Eddie will be speaking at WMX Asia 2019 and offers his thoughts on the conference and the future of the industry.
WMX – Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
EL – ECMS Express is one of the leading Asian couriers express and logistics companies providing low-cost international parcel delivery services, as well as cross-border e-commerce logistics solutions for e-marketplaces and retailers wanting to enter the international markets. Our networks cover US, Europe, Australia, Greater China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Our official partners and customers include some of the global and regional leading e-marketplaces, brands, as well as the 6 top Chinese e-platforms.
WMX – What will you be speaking about at WMX Asia this year?
EL – I will be speaking about the uprising of low-cost international courier express companies. Asset-light business models with technologies connecting various logistics partners can form “low-cost international courier products” that can pose threats and challenges to the traditional international courier express companies. These companies will have enough attractiveness for shippers who can afford 1 to 3 days longer delivery times but paying substantially lower shipping costs. The business model has been mostly developed for cross-border e-commerce parcels in the past few decades, while the same can be transformed to attract the usual B2B courier shipments.
WMX – What do you hope our delegates will take away from your presentation?
EL – With the topic that I am going to speak about, I would like the audience to learn that there are more than the traditional courier express or postal organizations that can do international door-to-door parcel delivery. Integrated consolidators can now bridge the gap between traditional couriers and postal by using technologies connecting the dots from different vendors along the various parts of the parcel delivery chains.
WMX – What are the most critical changes that we must make to face the future effectively?
EL – Shippers will continue to explore alternatives to reduce shipping costs, particularly for small packages orders, while delivery experience expectations remain. Couriers and postal organizations will have to come up with innovative shipping models with the use of technology in order to satisfy the rapid changing demands of the shippers.
WMX – Who is making the greatest advancements in the post and parcel industry, and what are they doing?
EL – As mentioned above, integrated consolidators have made the greatest advancements in the cross-border parcel delivery segment. These integrated consolidators are usually freight companies or transportation platforms, who successfully create end-to-end small parcel delivery products by leveraging technologies to connect vendors from first miles, sorting centres, customs brokers, freight forwarders, last miles, and return solutions. These products are usually right fit in between the premier courier products and the postal services, and are very welcomed by cross-border e-commerce orders which have demonstrated huge growth in the past decade.
WMX – What is the most interesting trend for 2019?
EL – The evolution of duty and VAT policies in many countries will make the cross-border e-commerce game a little bit different, in which volumes using couriers and postal services that usually enjoy the benefits of De Minimis may be impacted.
WMX – What’s the one piece of advice would you give to companies starting out in your sector?
EL – Large initial investment would be expected and today’s market maturity will push the payback period longer. New start-ups should try to enter the markets that are still being developed, and develop unique products or services to increase the values and competitiveness in the market.
WMX – Why do you feel Asian online marketplaces (like Alibaba) are such important drivers for cross border e-Commerce?
EL – Asian online marketplaces have generated the market demands of small orders and packages flowing into the region. China, as the major base of merchants and products’ origin, has supplied tremendous opportunities for nearby countries’ consumers to buy online via marketplaces. The Asian marketplaces, like Lazada, Shopee, Rakuten, etc., have made both the merchants and customers easy to sell, buy, and pay. Customer experiences are also greatly enhanced by these marketplaces’ own customer service infrastructures and cross-border logistics solutions.