Retailers Drive Change in Delivery Sector
- Oct. 01 2014 00:00
Logistics companies are adding high quality, additional services as retail and industrial markets evolve, says Anatoly Gvozdev, Managing Director at DB Schenker Russia (ZAO Schenker).
Has logistics and delivery changed in Russia over the past decade?
With the fabulous retail growth, we see competition to upgrade services and meet clients' demands in terms of transport quality. There is a remarkable improvement on the part of local logistics companies.
Shipment size is going down in parallel with growing demand for additional services of higher quality, to which the logistics service provider must respond. This means sorting, labeling, interim storage, return logistics, transfers, forwarding, time windows deliveries, and so on.
How did you develop the service that you offer to retailers? How has it evolved?
We spent considerable time with our customers and the suppliers to the retail chains, working out how our mutual services can best meet the needs of specific retail chains. This included consulting, training and entry support, deep integration into the logistics process of selected major retailers. This, in turn, included pre-agreed, standard operating proceedures, placing our own staff at the handover points and distribution centers of the chains, and so on.
We implemented an e-documents library where the customers can see electronic proof of delivery and scans of transport and commodity documents within two days after delivery. We are working on shortening these terms. Another great feature is our tracking system, including on-line scheduling and delivery reports. Implementation and development of the e-booking system is coming next in our short-term plans.
It is quite obvious for us that Russian retail is moving into the online sector. Our first reaction was to prepare the physical platform on which such services could be realized. I would not call us a pioneer in this area but we clearly understand its importance and we will be expanding our services in that area for our customers.
One big change in European and US retailing is same-day delivery, which is a revolution in the industry. What are the challenges to bringing this to Russia?
We do not see evidence that suppliers and retailers are ready to implement it in Russia yet. However, there are other vertical markets like automotive, which is in the top three of the biggest markets in the country, where this or even more specific solutions like just-in-time and just-in-sequence delivery are required and have already been implemented.
Would you welcome the development of more regional transport hubs across Russia, for example at Khabarovsk?
We don't just welcome but we are fully supporting this trend. We provide our contract logistics services in several branches and carry out our cross-docking operations in 24 locations around Russia. Our current network is built up to cover 80 per cent of the consumer market in the country, primarily in the European, Urals and Western Siberia areas. Our next targets lie in Eastern Siberia and the Far East and our future hopes also lie with road—rail services, especially with so-called contrailer solutions between European and Asian parts of Russia. Railroad and airfreight bridges shall connect them to provide accessibility and full control within the distribution chain for our customers in Russia.