By NOPHAKHUN LIMSAMARNPHUN
There is also pick-up service for small e-commerce merchants and the 2.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand where online sales are growing rapidly, according to top executives.
Charles Brewer, CEO of DHL E-commerce, said Thailand has a huge growth potential for e-commerce because online sales currently account for only 2 per cent of total retail sales, compared with the global average of 9 per cent.
Among Asean countries, Singapore’s online sales are the most developed, accounting for 4.5 per cent of total retail sales, compared with Indonesia’s 0.5 per cent of total retail sales.
To support e-commerce growth, the Thai government needs to help develop the ecosystem for online transactions, e-payment as well as transport and other logistic services.
Over the past year, DHL has branched into the so-called last mile service for e-commerce in Southeast Asia with a complete range of delivery, pick-up, warehousing and related services as high-volume e-commerce transactions boom in the region due to the high penetration rate of smartphones and other factors.
Customer expectations on delivery time have also shifted towards the so-called “next day” delivery after placing their purchase orders online, prompting DHL to offer faster services in the Thai market.
“The e-commerce market in Thailand is the second largest in Southeast Asia and expected to grow 22 per cent annually towards 2020. There are increasing demands for cost-effective and high quality logistic solutions to meet rising consumer needs,” said Kiattichai Pitpreecha, managing director of DHL E-commerce Thailand.
For Thai SMEs, the expanded service will allow them to deliver products to customers with greater convenience and a faster process so that they spend less time travelling and waiting to drop off their goods.
With a 3,222-square-metre e-commerce logistic centre in Bangkok, plus vehicles and other facilities, the firm is equipped to deliver 15 million shipments per year in Thailand.
For merchants, DHL also offers a cash-on-delivery service with daily remittances plus access to a multilingual call centre and easy IT integration to handle online orders so that shippers can easily prepare orders for delivery into the DHL network.
In addition, DHL offers cross-border services to help Thai customers expand into overseas markets at a competitive price based on a pay-per-use solution.
Malcolm Monteiro, CEO of DHL E-commerce Asia Pacific, said the government’s recent initiative has boosted opportunities for businesses and industries, especially SMEs, to digitise their operations and services.
With as many as 2.7 million SMEs, Thailand is seen as a high growth market where these firms will extend their business models into online marketplaces where DHL aims to enable their businesses to leverage the e-commerce potential both domestically and internationally.
Besides the e-commerce service, DHL has long been a provider of international express delivery services which can help connect Thai SMEs to the global online market.
At present, DHL has a network of fulfilment centres in the US, Mexico, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and India, allowing merchandise to get to consumers in those regions faster.
According to Brewer, the cross-border B2C, or retail e-commerce, is projected to grow to US$1 trillion in 2020 as the DHL operation in Thailand also witnesses a significant growth in this segment over the past year.