Selangor Journal
The logistics industry has stood to benefit relatively during the Covid-19 pandemic despite the implementation of various stages of the movement control orders (MCO). — Picture via UNSPLASH

Low-touch logistics play crucial role to drive business continuity

By Sherilyn Pang

SHAH ALAM, Oct 16 — The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably resulted in the rise of e-commerce. The logistics industry, on the one hand, stood to benefit relatively despite the implementation of various stages of the movement control orders (MCO).

Logistics companies the likes of Ninja Van, Lalamove and GrabExpress have experienced an increase in business as they helped other businesses stay afloat during the pandemic by delivering goods to their end-users.

“I think what happened during Covid-19 was it just accelerated the entire process of pushing businesses to go online. It wasn’t a choice anymore, it was a matter of survival,” said GrabExpress head Zafira Azahar.

Zafira was speaking during a session called “How Logistic & Supply Chain embrace Low Touch Economy?” at the virtual 5th Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention 2020 yesterday.

“We saw a large influx of new users for online delivery. Suddenly they needed us as an essential business to keep their businesses going and it is no longer just C-2-C (customer-to-customer), we also saw businesses and merchants from the food and beverage line, retail groceries and NGOs who needed to deliver aid to the needy coming on board, and we were there to keep their businesses and activities going,” she explained.

“Not only that, but we also managed to onboard more than 100,000 driver-partners for our delivery services and at the same time helped keep hundreds and thousands of businesses running during the trying times of Covid-19,” Zafira was quoted as saying.

However, with the surge in delivery, there were also concerns for safety measures.

Ninja Logistic Sdn Bhd (Ninja Van) chief operating officer Lin Zheng said his company had taken the steps to increase contactless operations following the rise in online communications.

“During MCO, it is important for logistics company to remain operational and we are seeing a surge in deliveries that could be due to online sales increase at the moment,” he said.

“But at the same time, we don’t want to be a Covid-19 spreader so we have made some changes to the way we communicate with our customers,” he said adding that more growth can be expected in the logistics business.

To this end, Lin said Ninja Van has transferred their communications with customers online which saw a 30 per cent increase in engagement recently.

He said the company also did away with physical signatures to minimise face-to-face interaction to ensure safer delivery for end-users as he expects e-commerce adoption to continue rising.

“When adoption is there, I think the key part is (for businesses) to know how to sell and pick their suitable delivery partner based on their needs to minimise the headache so they can just focus on the business and sales,” he added.

The session is one of the programmes arranged for stakeholders to gain an insight into the new digital economy era and is part of the fifth instalment of the Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention that aims to provide a platform for various topics to be discussed.

The convention themed “How SME (small-and-medium enterprises) Can Thrive in the Battle of Digital Transformation?” yesterday is one of the three main components of the Virtual Selangor International Business Summit 2020 which started yesterday and ends on October 17.

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