SEKO Logistics is leveraging the advantages of their early entry into the global e-commerce market with the launch of a new SEKO Ecommerce business unit to grow their international cross border shipping, global fulfilment, heavyweight last mile, and returns and e-commerce solutions into a multibillion dollar-plus business by 2025.
The global e-commerce market grew by 24% in 2020, producing market sales revenues of $4.2 trillion. Another year of record growth in 2021 is expected to boost sales to nearer $4.9 trillion. The launch of SEKO Ecommerce reflects the rise of Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands selling through their own channels utilizing platforms such as Shopify.
SEKO has prebuilt integrations to all major e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, Commerce Cloud and Demandware, allowing faster onboarding and frictionless implementations to enable accelerated global growth for clients. Existing clients include digitally native direct to consumer brands, retailers pivoting to e-commerce, marketplaces, merchants, e-commerce technology partners and more within the growing and diverse e-commerce market.
SEKO Ecommerce expects rapid growth by working with brands selling through multiple channels and marketplaces, including Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, Tmall, Walmart and more as it continues to build its reputation as the global logistics provider that connects e-commerce to the primary supply chain.
Now accounting for 40% of SEKO Logistics’ annual revenues, SEKO’s e-Commerce operation has more than doubled in size in the last 12 months as online consumer purchases accelerated during the COVID lockdown. This growth has been boosted by SEKO’s ability to offer Fast ‘plug and play solutions for retail brands entering the e-commerce market for the first time, as well as digitally native brands and start-ups and existing online merchants targeting rapid cross border growth.
The new business unit is led by David Emerson, Senior Vice President of SEKO E-commerce. He joined SEKO in 2003 as a partner at the SEKO United Kingdom. He was Vice President of Sales-EMEA, responsible for expanding SEKO’s footprint between Europe, Asia and the Americas, before accepting this new global role. Chris Zheng has also been promoted to Senior Vice President – Global Cross Border for SEKO e-Commerce. Chris was previously Executive Vice President at Air-City when SEKO acquired Air-City in 2019 and has been instrumental in spearheading and growing SEKO’s cross border parcel solutions, including T86 parcel clearance and a final mile into the United States.
SEKO got into the global e-commerce space in 2011, becoming one of the first entrants in the increasingly global e-commerce fulfilment market, and has been growing its international cross border parcel volumes rapidly since 2013 through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. SEKO’s growing share of the market is underpinned by their single platform technology solutions and 15 regional e-commerce fulfilment centres in China and Hong Kong, the US, Australia and Europe – offering seamless global reach into prime e-commerce markets.
Outside of the volumes carried by integrators and postal operators, SEKO already commands a respectable share of the US inbound e-commerce parcels market.
“The impact of COVID has accelerated what was already happening in the global e-commerce market, in terms of rapid year-over-year growth,” said James Gagne, President & CEO of SEKO Logistics. “The launch of SEKO Ecommerce advances our ability to embrace this demand by bringing all our e-commerce solutions together under one leadership team. SEKO was an early adopter of e-commerce in 2011, and this next evolution enables us to see the market through one lens and to globalize what we offer. Ecommerce penetration has essentially accelerated five years overnight. We are in a unique position to grow, both organically and through acquisition, by leveraging the measurable advantages of our business model.
Clients will see SEKO Ecommerce as a flexible, creative and responsive partner for their own global growth ambitions while providing seamless deployment to global, high-velocity e-commerce logistics solutions. They can build solutions with us as we are at the forefront of connecting the global supply chain to e-Commerce, and we will help them grow quickly and sustainably.”
SEKO Ecommerce offers clients four core solutions:
- International Ecommerce Shipping & Delivery Services – including Section 321/Type 86 Clearances for cross border inbound deliveries to the US, and specialized customs management and end-to-end solutions in the UK, EU, Greater China, Australia and other prime international markets.
- Global Ecommerce Fulfilment – in SEKO’s own facilities, giving clients one integration with frictionless visibility into multiple global locations enabling clients to deploy fungible inventory around the world through multiple channels.
- Global Parcel Returns & Recommerce – using SEKO’s, and integrated partner, technologies, combined with SEKO facilities and ‘middle mile’ solutions to deliver a truly end-to-end service.
- Heavyweight Ecommerce Shipping & Last-Mile Delivery – leveraging SEKO’s asset-light Direct to Consumer White Glove delivery solutions in the US for oversized deliveries, including furniture, TVs, and home décor products.
SEKO E-commerce will continue to primarily work with fashion, beauty, cosmetics, tech and lifestyle clients, which have spearheaded their e-commerce growth for over 10 years – giving them the ability to process international orders and track individual parcels on a single SEKO platform. SEKO Ecommerce is also working with other aggregators and postal operators to better facilitate global international e-commerce parcel shipping. In the US, SEKO will also grow their service offering for larger consumer purchases.
The new business unit will support increasingly knowledgeable etailers and merchants who are becoming even more savvy in their choice of e-commerce partners.
“For a lot of brands, using integrators to move their products is the ‘easy button’ when they start out, but our model is fundamentally different. Integrator services are essentially built for scale, but the scale is not always what clients want. They need speed, reliability, accountability, and support from a partner like SEKO which truly understands their business. Price points are critical too; a $12 dress doesn’t need a $25 delivery cost,” David Emerson said.
“SEKO has a big advantage with international e-commerce because we have our own middle mile – airfreight – whereas a lot of our competitors have to buy that in.
We’re also winning business through our investments in global fulfilment centres strategically located across the globe and all connected through a single technology platform. This works best for clients who need co-locational stock. If a company, for example, needs inventory in Hong Kong, Melbourne and Los Angeles, there are not many companies that can help, whereas SEKO Ecommerce can.
“As a lot of the traditional e-commerce market drops down into the mail market, this leads into our commercial model too, and we also see a significant opportunity to lean into the integrators’ world to earn a share of the 600 million parcels they carry each month into the US. A lot of brands are questioning if they need to use a full tariff, two-day service. We will give them options best-suited to their business model,” added Chris Zheng, SVP Global Cross Border.
SEKO Ecommerce expects to win more contracts to manage inbound e-commerce supply chains from source, as clients look for the improved control and visibility SEKO’s single technology platform provides. “Using our end-to-end solution means clients moving product out to Asia to the UK, as an example, have sight of their product 28 days before it lands.
This gives them far greater predictability about what they can sell, which is why our business model is evolving into a factory-to-consumer one,” added Emerson. Emerson acknowledges the growth of e-commerce is encouraging more traditional freight forwarders to look for a way into the market. He says: “E-commerce is moving at such a pace, so a lot of forwarders are now jumping on the bandwagon. Customers just need to look at what they’re being offered and ask: ‘is it real? is it compliant?’ Is the solution available now or is it just PowerPoint? Can they genuinely move or warehouse your parcels? Cross border parcels have been moving around SEKO’s network since 2013, so we’re equipped to deal with the biggest and most ambitious players in the e-commerce market.
We also have a unique opportunity to connect our e-commerce solutions with SEKO’s primary supply chain products for companies looking to implement and grow quickly. We’re ready for these client conversations.”