Manage outsourced e-commerce shipments

Organising e-commerce logistics is all about what happens after a user has placed an online order.
To gain people's loyalty and ensure they return to buy from your portal, it is essential to offer an excellent logistics service in addition to a great purchasing experience.

How can you organise e-commerce shipments?

This article provides a practical guide to shipping and delivering products from an online store. It will help you understand whether managing the service in-house or outsourcing it is best for you.

A guide to shipping and delivering e-commerce products

What aspects make a customer satisfied when they buy online?

Managing e-commerce shipments therefore means taking on the costs associated with warehouse organisation, stock control, storage, and order picking and preparation.
Not just that: but also packaging the goods, ensuring fragile goods are safe, and delivery.
All of this must be done as quickly as possible, because one of the most frequent reasons for leaving the basket or raising a customer complaint is timing.
According to Sendcloud research, 86% of consumers consider fast delivery, together with free shipping, to be among the most important factors when purchasing online.
This means that offering competitive times compared to competitors gives a real advantage: it keeps customers loyal and reduces the margin for complaints and returns.

To learn more about how online ordering is transforming an entire sector, read the article in the news section of our website How e-Commerce Impacts On Logistics.

Another factor to consider is staff: to ensure a quality service, it is necessary to hire qualified professionals, trained in warehouse management and able to fulfil both small B2C orders as well as larger B2B orders, in Italy and abroad.

So, what is the best way to organise e-commerce shipments? Rely on an experienced outsourcing company like Inovys Logistic.

Manage e-commerce shipments with Inovys Logistic

Inovys Logistic is a company specialising in a number of outsourcing services, including third-party transport of goods and logistics for e-commerce.

Why choose Inovys Logistic?

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Temperature-controlled transport, what it is and how it works

What does temperature-controlled transport mean? What is it for and how do the various packaging, loading and unloading stages work? What regulations apply?

This informative article will answer the main questions about temperature-controlled transport for the food and pharmaceutical industries, with the aim of providing all the tools needed to understand what the companies offering this service do.

Temperature-controlled transport: the details

What does temperature-controlled transport mean?

It is a way of handling goods that need to be kept in vehicles at a constant temperature, either hot or cold, regardless of the outside climate.

What is temperature-controlled transport for?

It maintains the composition and quality of the goods unaltered. For example, temperature-controlled food transport is essential for fresh and frozen products, or for particular types of drugs and cosmetics.

Temperature-controlled transport: what are the regulations?

The regulations on temperature-controlled transport cover several aspects:

The applicable regulations governing temperature-controlled transport of products is the ATP (Accord Transport Perissable), together with European Union Directive 2003/59/EC, which lays down the type of training to be provided to drivers of vehicles for transporting products at controlled temperatures and what kind of penalties should be applied if not all points of the ATP are met.
Moreover, the Italian Ministry of Health has signed circular no. 2, issued on 13 January 2000, which regulates the labelling and storage of pharmaceutical products.

Temperature-controlled transport: what are the types?

There are 4 types of temperature-controlled transport:

The vehicle must be equipped with a thermostat to set and monitor the inside temperature and to start cooling or heating cycles in response to the slightest change.

Temperature-controlled transport: the loading and unloading stages

For loading and unloading, it is necessary to:

Transporting goods at a controlled temperature is a complex and delicate task, which is why it is essential to rely on the right partner to do so.

Why it is important to rely on companies specialising in temperature-controlled transport

Up-to-date certifications, driver training, adequate vehicle fleet, permits to transport products in Italy and abroad: Inovys Logistic offers all of this and much more to its clients.

In addition to third-party transport of products at controlled temperature, the company provides its customers with tailored integrated logistics services to guarantee full coverage throughout the outsourcing chain.

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Own-account or third-party transport: what is the difference?

National laws relating to freight handling, highway codes and European transport regulations are not always easy to understand and therefore to apply correctly.
The difference between third-party and own-account transport depends on the vehicle type, load weight and driver’s authorisation.
Unlawful transportation is illegal and may be subject to very high administrative penalties (up to 15,000 euro).
For this reason, it is a good idea to know all the specifications in order to implement own-account or third-party freight transport correctly.
This article explores the difference between third-party and own-account transport.

What does own account transport mean?

We refer to own-account freight transport when:

  1. The materials to be handled are owned by the company, public body or private body (“legal entity” in jargon) carrying out the transport
  2. The vehicle driver (i.e. the “natural person”) is the owner or an employee of the company
  3. The vehicle in which the materials are transported is owned by the company or hired for this purpose
  4. The handling and related costs are not a significant item on the company balance sheet. In other words, own-account transport is not an economically dominant business
  5. The transport is certified by a special registration certificate.

Finally, the handling is not carried out for a fee.

Now that we have looked at what own-account transport means, we shall define what third-party transport means.

When is third-party transport needed?

The main difference between own-account transport and third-party transport is that the latter is an ongoing professional business in every respect.

We refer to third-party freight transport when:

  1. The materials to be transported are owned by a client that engages the haulier
  2. The vehicle in which the materials are transported is owned by the company, which takes charge of the goods and makes a suitable fleet of vehicles available to the client
  3. The handling, the related costs and the fee agreed with the client are the main items in the balance sheet.

Finally, third-party transport is paid.

How many types of third-party license are there?

There are three types of third-party transport license:

Certain requirements must be met in order to get a license, such as moral fitness (also known as good repute), professional fitness and financial capacity.

At our page Transport Of Goods For Hire Or Reward: Quality and Safety, you can find out more about how third-party transport of goods works.

Who can drive a third-party vehicle?

The vehicle driver must be a professional with specific licenses and authorisations for extraordinary transport and to drive large vehicles.
The company must also be registered in the Register of Road Haulage, as is Inovys Logistic.
Inovys Logistic offers third-party freight transport tailored to any need.

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Black Friday planning by Inovys Logistic

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is an event that originated in the US and takes place every year on the first Friday after Thanksgiving. This is the date when, according to a tradition consolidated in the 1960s, American stores offer special discounts to encourage shopping and kickstart Christmas purchases. The following Monday is known as Cyber Monday and involves consumer electronics products. Cyber Monday 2017 was the most profitable shopping day ever in the US. Online transactions generated over $6.5 billion, an increase of 16.8% over the previous year.
Along with other traditions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken place in Italy for some years.
Logistics shares significant responsibility for the success of these two major occasions of unbridled shopping (with on average 30% more purchases in various sectors). In fact, most purchases are now made with a simple click, without the need to leave home to visit the various stores. Online purchases for Black Friday exceeded €1 billion, a 35% increase on 2017. Once the order has been sent, the customer – happy to have obtained a product at a greatly discounted price – expects to receive it quickly.
Alfred Ndou, Warehouse Manager at Inovys Logistic, talks about how he handled the planning together with his team from the very beginning to ensure a successful Black Friday.

Ndou: ‘The whole logistics chain must function perfectly, starting with the picking. Mistakes or delays can turn the opportunity of Black Friday into a black moment.

How is Black Friday planned in terms of logistics?

Before Black Friday

Black Friday required long preparation, which began about 6 months before the day itself. The starting point was recruiting additional personnel to handle the significant increase in orders.
During the selection phase, preference was given to personnel with experience in the logistics sector to enable faster learning, given the tight deadlines involved. Later on, they underwent both theoretical training (delivery and explanation of the procedures) and practical training (shadowing an expert operator) so as to always guarantee the quality of the service.
Immediately after this, the physical spaces for e-commerce were reorganized in view of the physical space limits and the impossibility of adding new workstations for such a short period, while processes were optimized to increase productivity.
During the Black Friday preparation phase, stress tests were carried out which consisted in accumulating orders made during the weekend to simulate the possible situation encountered. These tests provided an understanding of where to take action to improve the packing and picking processes.

Black Friday planning

During Black Friday

Periodic meetings were held at the beginning of each shift to keep the feeling of unity alive and the following were shared with the whole team:

Post-Black Friday considerations

Thanks to close collaboration and sharing objectives, the Black Friday planning paid off. This reinforced the importance of planning in logistics and successfully fulfilling all the orders that arrive around Black Friday.

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Strategic logistics outsourcing

Outsourcing is when a company entrusts operations involving its goods to a logistics partner, rather than carrying them out directly. There are different outsourcing options. One consists of full delegation to a logistics provider with its own spaces and manpower, while the other consists in entrusting only part of the logistics process to third parties, for example road transport, while the other activities remain the responsibility of the client company.
Relying on a partner to outsource logistics services has various benefits. First of all, greater operational flexibility and the ability to focus on your core business.

L’outsourcing strategico della logistica

Another key aspect is cost reduction. Outsourcing reduces staff, storage and transport costs. There is thus no longer a need to invest capital in buildings, plants and personnel. The decision to outsource your logistics entails choices with a significant and complex impact on the company. First, it is necessary to conduct a feasibility study and entrust the role to a partner who can guarantee an excellent service by defining all the technical, performance and contractual aspects. Objectives will subsequently be established with a view to common growth. An outsourced logistics system must be able to function in compliance with the methods and timings dictated by the customer.

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Strategic logistics outsourcing

The supply chain is the beating heart of the industrial sector. Properly managed incoming and outgoing flows have become a competitive advantage that companies have not to underestimate.
The fourth industrial revolution is underway in all sectors that need digitisation, networking, cloud computing and data security.
In recent years, companies have made huge strides in optimizing supply chains and logistics, significantly reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
For operators in the logistics sector, this translates into the goal of minimizing the daily fixed costs of activities, fuel consumption, maintenance and hourly cost of resources. In particular, the rules that define the processes for shipping, truck loading, deliveries, etc. must be optimized.
The first step is to collect data and information for processing and seek the best solutions to ensure effective operation. Clearly, logistics optimization models will be successful if employees follow the optimized plan.

Supply chain in the 4.0 era

Effective solutions in a reasonable time. All this technology, however, requires people to have the necessary skills to manage and use data, models and software.
Automation solutions can’t simply provide information to a single warehouse, but must bring benefits to the entire supply chain.
Improved efficiency and new business models offer new opportunities to create value. Digitisation gives logistics the opportunity to offer new services and create new business models.

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How e-commerce impacts on logistics

The e-commerce boom is destined to drive the growth and development of the logistics sector in Italy too. There has been a real explosion in recent years, with disruptive effects on the logistics chain ranging from transport organization to warehouse management to city deliveries. E-commerce is affecting the entire supply chain by changing logistics centers, which must quickly equip themselves to satisfy all company requests.

Impact of ecommerce on logistics

Ordered today, delivered tomorrow. One of the elements most closely tied to the satisfaction of online customers, as we know, is the delivery process. They can count on ever faster and more customized deliveries. This makes online shopping a fast and convenient choice. Not forgetting that delivery is also part of the ‘emotional’ user experience. Companies that deal with logistics, however, know it’s not all that simple. The goods must be delivered, but the right of withdrawal gives the consumer the opportunity to behave as in the store. Online too, they can buy more items, try them on and return what they don’t like or isn’t the right size. These operations obviously impact on management costs. And if we think that one of the main reasons for buying online is free shipping, it’s a no-brainer.

Companies who offer efficient and rapid delivery and collection services will see a major increase in the coming years. A qualitative leap that was unthinkable until a few years ago.

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The sharing economy is the new frontier of freight transport

For some years now, we’ve been hearing about the ‘sharing economy’ – but what exactly is it?

It refers to a new economic model based on consumers’ real needs.
The millennial generation of consumers (those born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s) is most actively engaged in the sharing economy.

Sharing Economy

To respond to this latest trend, many companies have adopted the principles of reuse and sharing by using technologies for a lower environmental impact.
The most active countries in the sharing economy are those of northern Europe, which have always been more sensitive to the issue of environmental protection. The results are already visible: in the first quarter of 2018, CO₂ emissions fell by about 200,000 tonnes.
In Italy, due in part to its geographical form and the islands, road freight transport is favored (especially with the growth of e-commerce).
According to the Confcommercio report ‘Analysis and forecasts for freight transport in Italy’, since 2015 there has been an unequivocal upturn in freight traffic in line with economic recovery.
According to forecasts, e-commerce could see a further 20% increase worldwide within the next decade. Transport and deliveries are becoming increasingly indispensable.
From this perspective, the sharing economy is destined to increasingly revolutionize the logistics sector by seeking the best technologies and most effective solutions to unite and optimize the production, trade and consumption of goods and services.

How is this achieved?

For example, by giving customers the opportunity to share space on a truck, so that vehicles always travel full. This guarantees savings and a reduced environmental impact.
Logistics concerns not only transport, but also material storage. In this case, the sharing economy impacts on sharing storage spaces and making the most of private spaces. As Mario Zini, Country Manager Italy of DHL Global Forwarding, says: ‘Logistics suppliers can benefit from sharing their resources, but also take advantage of these developments through more convenient use of warehouse space, transport methods and more efficient delivery methods or flexible working models.’

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