How one Dubai company is vowing to transform last mile delivery

Premier Logistics partners with Parcelly UK to bring innovative delivery service to the Middle East

Deepak Khushalani, founder and chief executive officer, Premier Logistics. Image: ITP Media Group

Dubai-founded logistics service provider Premier Logistics is set to launch a “first of its kind” pick up and drop off (PUDO) service to meet last mile delivery requirements.

The solution is being launched in conjunction with Parcelly UK, and will be available at more than 1,000 drop off locations.

Deepak Khushalani, founder and chief executive officer, Premier Logistics said: “Parcelly has the fastest growing network of retailer and carrier agnostic PUDO locations, managing in excess of 2,000 parcel collection points worldwide to date. By converting redundant space in local businesses into parcel storage capacity, Parcelly offers a variety of B2C and B2B services, including click and collect and hyper-local mini-warehousing to resolve industry problems associated with first and last mile delivery.”

With the imminent launch of Parcelly UAE, items can be delivered to a grocery store in the receiver’s building of residence, or it could be picked up from a service station or gym – the possibilities are endless, he said, adding that the new solution will “transform the industry” and has never been done before in this region.

“Personally, I feel there is plenty of talk about innovation within the logistics and fulfilment sector in the region — from drones and robots to electric trucks and e-bikes. Unfortunately most of these will still take some time to be accepted, as they are not yet cost-effective and capacity-expanding. The problem, at least in the short term, is not with the way we move parcels, it’s about where we move them to.”

Khushalani said he believes that the Parcelly service will also bring down the environmental impact as we will not have “thousands of parcels being delivered to thousands of individuals’ doors daily”

With an uptick in e-commerce and online shopping, especially during the height of lockdown, the logistics industry is in search for a full proof solution to solve the last mile delivery woes.

A study conducted by Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and Visa in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic revealed that shopping at physical stores had reduced by 68 percent since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Nearly half of the surveyed respondents in the UAE stated that they were shopping online more than previously. This survey further added that “These shifts in consumer behaviour caused by the pandemic are expected to be the “new normal”.

Redundancies and economic turmoil hasn’t stopped spends as was suggested by PwC’s GCIS COVID-19 Pulse snapshot report.

The survey revealed 62 percent of Middle East respondents experienced a decrease in household income due to redundancy or reduction in hours – the highest proportion of any territory surveyed – almost half (49 percent) expect to spend more over the next few months.

In comparison, just 33 percent of consumers in other territories surveyed are looking to spend more than before Covid-19. These include countries across continents that include China, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

In the Middle East consumers in Cairo seem most optimistic with 64 percent planning to spend more in the next few months, compared to 39 percent of consumers in Dubai.

The survey took an in-depth look at consumers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo and highlights how the region is adapting to the new normal compared to other key countries across the world.

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