Deliver 2022 | Supply chain feels the e-commerce heat


Industry leaders throughout Europe came together at Deliver 2022 to discuss the issues and solutions around e-commerce, fulfilment, packaging and sustainability and circularity.

Staged in Amsterdam, 1,500 e-commerce and logistic experts from major vendors, retailers and media across 40 countries met at the flagship event to showcase products and services, and participate in workshops and presentations.

Attending were retail decision-makers including Ikea, ASOS, Max Mara, eBay, Renault, Whirlpool, Camper, Vinted, Oatly, Unilever, Amazon, PepsiCo, Inditex and Samsung.

A Workshop Studio session focusing on the rising demand for same-day delivery highlighted the demand, availability and strains on e-commerce packaging providers.

The panel included Matthew Blackhurst-Evans, digital project lead at Lush; Tom Anastasi, director of sales Northern Europe at delivery and fulfilment platform Bringg; and Graham Smith, strategic account director at last mile delivery network Gophr. It looked at how customers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery.

According to Seb Robert, Gophr chief executive, same-day is a growing area and forecast to double over the next four years, largely by cannibalising share from next-day. There is also a growing awareness among retailers of the need to compete with Amazon Prime and Prime Now.

This is key since price or the cost of same-day is the number one issue for supply chain directors. Other challenges of same-day broadly covers fulfilment and logistics such as coverage, the technology stack, plus in-store operations – training staff for pick and pack in order to get products ready for a courier.


Productive leads

Mark Elward, chief commercial officer at co-packer and fulfilment experts Huboo, told Packaging News he had around 10 productive meetings at the exhibition. “There were five to six fulfilment companies attending and it’s quite high-quality delegates. The quality of the meetings are a lot better. They don’t allow just anyone in.”

He added that Huboo received two good leads form the virtual event earlier in the year too.

Corrugated packaging giant DS Smith said the event continues to be a key show from an e-commerce perspective.

Olivier Cottard, global e-commerce and industries business units director at DS Smith, told Packaging News: “It was good to meet prospective customers face to face again. E-commerce is becoming part of normal business now, an extra channel with very clearly strong demands around customer experience, efficiencies, optimisations, but also with more focus on sustainability and the circular economy.”

Regarding the networking opportunities and footfall at Deliver – he said  all colleagues were happy meeting existing key stake holders customers but also new contacts.

Cottard also explained to Packaging News key concerns and trends. “Fulfilment efficiency is number one – in terms of fulfilment centre operations. Efficiency against damage rates, and in terms of labour handling, are all top of the agenda.”

He said after two years of unprecedented Covid e-commerce volume growth, things are flattening down a bit so clients  have more time to look at the details and particularly cost efficiency.

“Where as before customers would say ‘I need the boxes quick’,  now we are starting to see more customers ask if the box is the most optimum, and is that the most optimum supply chain. Has it been over-engineered – basically is that solution ideal?


Fit-for-purpose packaging

“We are feeling this is coming along.  In the pandemic it was all about e-commerce. But now its back to omni-channel – customers say they are developing a pack, is it fit for purpose?”

Global paper leader Mondi was showcasing various products, including its MailerBAG paper mailer, a flexible paper mailer that it insists has changed the e-commerce packaging landscape since its launch in 2018.

MailerBAG replaces plastic mailers used for shipping non-fragile items, such as fashion and accessories.

Daniela Dorner, Mondi group e-commercial director, told Packaging News: “Deliver 2022 was quite fruitful for us.

“Meetings provided the opportunity to meet contacts who are aware of the importance and possibilities of sustainable packaging within the e-commerce market. It was also a great opportunity for us to gain insights into recent market developments.”

She said attendees were interested in sustainable packaging, such as paper bags and corrugated boxes, with many requests about how to reduce material usage and drive change towards a more eco-friendly e-commerce packaging landscape.


Better use of materials

“As a supplier we treat these topics with the highest priority, as there are multiple factors to consider when creating fit-for-purpose packaging that is sustainable by design. We always strive to ensure our solutions follow a 3e approach: economic, efficient and easy. From faster and safer packaging and better use of space and materials, all the way to delighting consumers.”

She also pointed out that the Mondi Action Plan 2030 sets out the actions the company will take over the next decade around managing forests and producing pulp, paper and films, to reach its ambitious 2030 sustainability commitments.

Dorner said she hoped to confirm Mondi’s presence at Deliver 2023: “We always aim to be present where our customers and prospects are and where we can gain informative market insights. Positively we have seen a convergence in interest about sustainable e-commerce packaging and demonstrated by the numerous conversations we’ve had while attending Deliver.”

Stephane Tomczak, chief executive, Deliver, added: “I am thankful to the delegates from all over Europe for spending the time with us to discuss the most pertinent issues affecting the ecosystem, and coming here to find solutions and discover the cutting edge of the supply chain. The team is now looking forward to the opportunities that Deliver will bring to the global e-commerce community in 2023 and beyond.”

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