DHL is helping high-volume retailers speed up “the last mile” of their omnichannel shopping experience.
DHL eCommerce, a division of logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, is expanding the functionality of its fulfillment centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Riverside, California. Specifically, the logistics company is investing in storage and mechanization to support the growing needs of its U.S.-based e-commerce retail partners that ship between 300 and 15,000 orders per day. They will also manage both B2C and B2B transactions.
The two facilities, which are operated in conjunction with DHL Supply Chain, are located near major urban centers. This allows merchants to position their inventory closer to their customers, improving their time to market while reducing shipping costs.
These gains will be achieved through an order management system operated by IBM Sterling. The solution provides fast customer integration, seamless access and visibility to the network, and allows customers to optimize the placement of inventory and orchestrate orders across the facilities.
The warehouses are engineered as shared-use fulfillment centers, allowing customers to share space and assets within the warehouse. Customers are charged only for the transactions they have within the warehouse with fees for receiving, storage, and outbound pick and pack. Given the volatile and seasonal nature of e-commerce, removing the fixed cost burden is a huge relief for retailers.
“The e-commerce market in the U.S. is estimated to have grown by 15.6% in 2016 with sales topping $531 billion, and increasingly e-tailers are seeking fulfillment solutions to enable an omnichannel experience for end consumers,” said Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Americas.
“We see a huge demand from U.S. e-commerce players needing best-in-class e-commerce logistics solutions and we’re expanding our capabilities to support these growing demands,” Spratt said. “Besides doubling our existing U.S. fulfillment centers in Columbus and Riverside and enhancing them with greater automation, we also plan to add an additional center in New Jersey.”
The project coincides with the company’s July 2016 announcement of a $137 million investment to expand infrastructure and capabilities to expand the company’s leading role in e-commerce logistics and better serve U.S. customers within the booming e-commerce industry, DHL said.