Your ecommerce headlines of the day.


1. Amazon invests $17m to win India’s biggest shopping season

Amazon has freshly invested around US$17 million in its Indian marketplace ahead of the festive season, regulatory filings showed. Read the rest of the story here


2. UPS running tests using drones for commercial deliveries

 UPS and drone maker CyPhy Works have begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations. Read the rest of the story here.


3. Ascend Capital invests in three startups

Currently, Ascend Capita has already invested in three start-ups including Omise, SendIt, and a non-disclosed one. For this year, the company aims to leverage its three start-ups in its first batch with no more investment. Read the rest of the story here.


4. DHL Express has opened its Jakarta Gateway 530 facility

The new 1,353-square-metre facility is an addition to the existing Gateway 510, which is at full capacity. Gateway 530 is capable of handling up to 2 million shipments per year and is equipped with dual-view X-ray screening, an explosive trace detector system and 103 CCTV cameras. Read the rest of the story here.

DHL’s ambitious restructuring agenda in 2015 is starting to pay dividends, with the company posting record-high Q2 results, reports Air Cargo World.

Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 40% to a record $832.25 million for the second quarter, prompting DHL to reconfirm its expected financial position for full year 2016. This occurred despite revenues for Q2 falling by 16%.

The ecommerce ‘megatrend’, as coined by the company, was a key driver for DHL Express volume and a key contributor to revenue growth.

“DHL took the right decision and made the right investments in 2015, a year of transition, to set the stage for improving our profitability this year,” said CEO Frank Appel.

CFO Larry Rosen stated that DHL Express segment was a continuing success story, driven by fantastic growth in time-definite international shipments. Volumes for express were up 8.2% in the second quarter. This was evidence that DHL was adding market share despite the overall slow growth in the market.

The general slow growth in the market were contributed by low fuel costs and surplus capacities, which put prices under pressure.

With the success of ecommerce logistics contributing to a strong Q2 for DHL, it does not come as a surprise that the company is set to expand its ecommerce operations to empower cross-border logistics capabilities. The company will be investing $137 million through 2020 to build eight fulfillment centers and upgrade existing warehouses in the US.

All of it will be aimed at supporting the growing global cross-border ecommerce market by allowing online vendors in the US to stock their merchandise in DHL’s fulfillment centers for quicker international deliveries.

A version of this appeared in Air Cargo World on August 4. Read the full version here.

DHL Express has launched a new flight service between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, one of its hubs in Asia Pacific, reports Yahoo Finance.

This express freighter service, the first operating to and from Phnom Penh, adds to the existing DHL Express flights between its hubs in Bangkok and Singapore, extending the Cambodian capital’s trade ties to more markets across the globe.

The new route will help meet rising import and export demands in Cambodia, especially in high-growth industries such as garment and construction.

Trade between Cambodia and Thailand reached $5.1 billion in 2015, and the country also imported $1.05 billion worth of goods from Singapore in 2014.

What’s the point of Phnom Penh-Bangkok Service?

This service will enhance the country’s global connectivity and trade relations, which can eventually also extend to ecommerce. With the new scheduled services between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, the new DHL service gives Cambodian exporters constant access to its global network spanning 220 countries and territories. Bangkok is one of four hubs for DHL Express in Asia Pacific.

Cambodia’s economy expanded approximately 7% in 2015. Its logistics capabilities are also rising.

Cambodia is fast becoming an important trading player in Southeast Asia and the demand for movement of goods will grow in tandem.

According to a write-up in Phnom Pen Post, the country’s ecommerce potential is blocked by poor logistics infrastructure and a largely unbanked market but as logistics and trade strengthens, ecommerce will have the potential to experience meteoric growth.

A version of this appeared in Yahoo Finance on August 2. Read the full version here.

DHL Express Japan expaanding its warehouse


DHL Express unveiled a new $74 million, 215,278 square foot warehouse at Shin-Kiba in Tokyo, more than double its space in the city, to fill in the gap in the modern warehousing in Japan following the fast-growth of ecommerce industry in the country.

This is also to anticipate the increasing demand for international shipping, particularly from China and Southeast Asia.

There was also a pressing need to support [Japan] domestic companies focusing on international markets.

“Business expansion in overseas markets, especially in emerging countries, has now become the critical part of growth strategies for many Japanese companies,” Taketo Yamakawa, president and representative director of DHL Japan added.

This rising demand has led to strong sustained volume growth in DHL Express Japan over the last few years — the previous Tokyo Distribution Center facility had already reached full capacity. With the relocation, the DHL Express Tokyo distribution center will be converted into the DHL Express Tokyo central service center. This service center will subsequently become DHL’s largest in Japan.

Japan’s Footprint in Southeast Asia Ecommerce

Both Southeast Asia and Japan are experiencing fast-growth in their respective commerce industries, both favoring the marketplace model, but the similarities end there. The track record of Japanese companies in Southeast Asia is not a sterling one.

While Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based ecommerce marketplace Rakuten successfully dominated its home market, the same could not be said to its presence in Southeast Asia as the company shut down its operation in three countries earlier this year. Sumitomo Corp, a Japanese trading company, also started the year by selling its ecommerce site to Malaysian company Hermo.

A version of this appeared in Journal of Commerce on June 29. Read the full article here.