“There’s no peak season for us,” says Yu Chen, Head of Network Management at YunExpress Europe, “because we are always ready.”
Not long ago, Black Friday was an exclusively American retail event – the kick-off to the high shopping season. But with the rapid expansion of e-commerce, Black Friday has grown to global proportions. And in combination with other major shopping days like Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year’s, the season represents a major share of all consumer activity in the e-commerce and logistics sectors.
But an end-to-end service provider like YunExpress knows Black Friday doesn’t exist in a bubble. The day represents a spike in consumer activity, but it’s merely one of many in a peak season that extends from the middle of September until mid-January. And the company’s share of the Chinese market, coupled with its increasingly global reach, means YunExpress is uniquely prepared to tackle busy seasons across multiple seasonal, as well as cultural, calendars.
“Part of being good at end-to-end logistics means being prepared,” says Chen. “We approach every season, and indeed every day of the shopping year, as an opportunity to deliver on our reputation for unrivaled service within the sector. We don’t do damage-control – we put measures in place to avoid disruptions before they even occur.”
What makes YunExpress different?
Solid infrastructural network and facilities – YunExpress has gone the extra mile (and then some!) to develop a solid infrastructural network to support its global logistics operations. The company has tendered partnerships with major airlines in every market it serves, including market leader China Southern Cargo. YunExpress also operates its own charter flights and aircraft to ensure timely transport is always within reach.
Flexible warehousing solution – During peak seasons, YunExpress ensures that additional warehouse space is available to account for increased traffic, and that transfer hubs are in place to better cope with increases in parcel volume. Temporary contractors guarantee that teams are adequately staffed, and cutting-edge sorting equipment improves efficiency and helps prevent disruptions – to the tune of 20,000 packages sorted per hour.
Digital transformation and committed team players – Beyond hardware and facilities, YunExpress operates on integrated, global digital management systems. These allow for real-time monitoring of package status, from shipment to last-mile delivery. YunExpress’ international network now comprises 21 local hubs, with each managed and operated by a team of up to 100 employees.
“We understand the situation in the Netherlands better than most, with our headquarters located in Amsterdam,” Chen continues. “We have 10,000 square meters of extra warehouse space earmarked for the busy peak season this year, and dozens of temporary employees contracted to work. New regulations around the IOSS (Import One-Stop Shop) effective since 1 July in the EU mean that, this year, we’re on our game and readier than ever to tackle the peak season in Europe.”
Familiar pitfalls for the Black Friday customer
The intricacies of a worldwide e-commerce event combined with rapidly increasing consumer demand mean logistics providers have their work cut out for them. And any service provider will be familiar with the most common customer complaints. In the past these have included:
- insufficient transportation capacity and airspace, as well as overloaded airlines and last-mile providers – resulting in rising costs
- poor logistical support, including insufficient manpower and a lack of available facility space and infrastructure
- high load (meaning too many parcels to handle), leading to an increased incidence of error and lower operating efficiency
- siloed infrastructure leading to an excessive number of providers, increased delays and security issues
But YunExpress has risen to the occasion. “During the peak season around Black Friday and Christmas, we maintain an on-time rate of delivery of 98%. Achieving this involves investing in infrastructure and careful planning, to ensure smooth sailing during a window of time when the competition often tries to capitalize on quick wins – without the infrastructure to back them up,” explains Chen.
A foothold on the future
“We own and oversee every link of the logistics process,” says Weile Zhao, Deputy Managing Director at YunExpress Europe. “This means we can provide assurance that smaller logistics companies without their own local teams and warehouses simply can’t match.” With processing centers nestled within the ‘golden triangle’ of European logistics, combined with comprehensive, self-owned overseas distribution hubs and routes, this peak season in Europe will surely be one for the books. And uninterrupted service also means savings passed on to every YunExpress client.
YunExpress has historically doubled sales for clients serving the Black Friday market, with increased growth continuing from year to year. Peak season analyses, warehouse redesigns and customized logistics solutions tailored to the needs of key-account customers mean that YunExpress client solutions are unrivaled in the industry.
“We do long-term planning and forecasting in advance of Black Friday to ensure better performance for our customers,” says Zhao with a smile. “We like to say that the end of the peak season each year is really just the beginning of the rollout for next year’s planning.”
Here’s to another of many seamless Black Fridays in Europe with YunExpress!