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COVID-19: How S’pore Logistics Firm Ninja Van Is Coping With The Spike In E-Commerce


The COVID-19 outbreak has affected many companies, altering the way in which shoppers store.

Because the demand for e-commerce skyrockets, categorical supply companies turn into more and more instrumental because the channels between clients and enterprise retailers. Nonetheless, are these courier providers essentially driving in huge earnings, and is all of it clean crusing for them throughout this COVID-19 disaster?

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Lai Chang Wen, co-founder and CEO of Ninja Van, shares intimately about some curveballs his workforce is dealing with in mild of the pandemic and the way they’re planning to trip out these bumps within the street forward.

New Measures: Elevated Prices, Decrease Effectivity

Whereas it’s true that parcel volumes have been going up as extra individuals keep in and store on-line, the uptick in demand for his or her providers is just not with out a hitch.

Being a world supply enterprise, Chang Wen explains how cross border parcel volumes took successful on account of the restrictions China had put in place.

Cuts in passenger flights meant that if the enterprise wished to ship cargo in by means of the skies, they solely had freighter planes to depend on, which comes at a hovering premium. 

“We’ve had to consider alternative routes to maneuver air cargo, which we used to have the ability to transport by means of passenger planes,” he stated.

Picture Credit score: Ninja Van

Moreover, prices have additionally elevated as they adapt their operations and techniques to the brand new circumstances and restrictions enacted. A few of these embrace community checkpoints and blockages in sure abroad markets which can be disruptive to the transportation course of.

These prices additionally come within the type of stricter checks that Ninja Van has put in place to offer a safer working setting for his or her drivers, comparable to segregating shifts and making certain that staff are in good well being earlier than they begin.

Nonetheless, these measures have taken a toll on the general effectivity of the enterprise.

Chang Wen cited an occasion when supply drivers report for his or her shifts, or once they scan and cargo parcels into the vans: “Since we’ve put in place measures [such as] staggering the drivers’ reporting occasions in waves and every day temperature checks, the entire course of has been stretched out by three occasions. What would sometimes take solely two hours now spans six hours.”

ninja van singapore
All Ninja Van drivers are required to put on masks at work / Picture Credit score: Ninja Van

That is additionally contributed by the brand new regular of staff having to don  masks whereas delivering and sorting, which cumulatively can show bodily taxing, particularly with the rise in capability for bigger parcels. Extra frequent brief breaks should now be taken under consideration.

In response to Chang Wen, the composition of parcel volumes have modified from the sometimes smaller-sized packages underneath style and accent classes to bulkier items.

He added that that is resulting from a rise in orders for gadgets such as train and pastime tools, like gardening instruments.

Massive parcels take up considerably extra manpower and house so our groups have needed to modify the way in which they work and the way our warehouse is organised.

– Lai Chang Wen, CEO of Ninja Van

On Staying Adaptable And Pushed

Ninja Van’s categorical courier enterprise has presence throughout six Southeast Asian markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The extent of the COVID-19 affect on every market varies, and relies on the respective governmental response to the scenario.

ninja van philippines
Delivering security tools to well being establishments within the Philippines / Picture Credit score: Ninja Van

For instance, the Philippines markets are subjected to stricter restrictions, with solely transportation of important items permitted. Beneath these circumstances, the Ninja Van workforce determined to adapt to the laws and provided their service to ship private protecting tools to medical amenities.

Likewise, their focus has been on getting important tools to medical employees and hospitals in Indonesia.

ninja van thailand
Ninja Van Thailand serving to to ship survival kits to these impacted by COVID-19 / Picture Credit score: Ninja Van

In different markets, except for economical ventures, Ninja Van has been taking a look at offering weak communities with the gadgets they should tide out the disaster. In Thailand, the corporate has pivoted to delivering “survival kits” full of staple meals gadgets and cash to Thais who’ve misplaced their jobs.

With many individuals staying at house, our supply service has turned from a comfort to a vital service, giving communities throughout the area entry to the gadgets they want.

However just like how we method our industrial enterprise, we’re aware that with company social accountability (CSR), we can not take a one-size-fits all method. It’s depending on the necessities, preferences and partnership alternatives inside every market.

– Lai Chang Wen, CEO of Ninja Van

On what else they’re doing on the house entrance, Chang Wen stated that Ninja Van, as an algorithms and information pushed logistics firm, it will proceed to refine its in-house know-how to accommodate will increase in volumes with out overinvesting in infrastructure or manpower.

He added that the corporate can also be trying at hiring from varied swimming pools of obtainable manpower, together with those that have been retrenched.

Remaining Parcels Of Knowledge

ninja van founders
Lai Chang Wen (center), Ninja Van CEO / Picture Credit score: Ninja Van

When requested whether or not he thinks this shift in direction of a rise in e-commerce and supply providers will likely be right here to remain even past the pandemic, Chang Wen posited the potential for a long-term behavioural change in direction of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.

The co-founder positioned an emphasis in persevering with to finetune their operations by means of know-how with a purpose to all the time keep one step forward. Among the irons in Ninja Van’s hearth embrace serving to present offline-only retailers to extend their on-line presence, and nearly connecting gross sales personnel with their clients.

Each problem presents a possibility, and with social distancing trying like it should turn into a social norm in our lives for a chronic time period, we’re taking a look at how we are able to help companies and allow them to thrive underneath these situations.”

Featured Picture Credit score: Ninja Van


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