Shrinking profit margins and higher customer expectations are among the challenges facing courier companies today.
According to Vernon Rawstorne, managing director of EWC Express, the courier business has changed dramatically in recent years, and only companies that can adapt will survive.
“Consumer behaviour is changing and courier companies have to adapt accordingly,” he said, adding that customers today want the same high level of service at a reduced cost.
EWC Express is a leader in the small parcel express market and services more than 3,000 centres in South Africa, daily. Services range from domestic and international document courier to air freight, forwarding, customs clearing and retail distribution.
For longstanding customer RNA Distribution, EWC’s personalised service and attention to detail includes an understanding of the unique demands of the music industry.
EWC Express has been servicing RNA Entertainment, a division of RNA Distribution, for more than four years.
The operation’s business is warehousing and distribution of CDs and DVDs. Tight deadlines are a daily challenge.
James Durieux, operations general manager at RNA Entertainment, said: “Typically, RNA Entertainment has just 24 hours to pick, pack and dispatch orders for clients. Partnering with the right courier company, one that understands time constraints and urgency, is key to RNA’s success.”
Customer Barrows has also been on the receiving end of EWC’s personalised service and attention to detail, and it has resulted in a relationship spanning more than a decade.
Barrows Design & Manufacturing produces point of sale displays and delivers these nationally using the services of EWC. Barrows logistics manager Garth Moulder comments on the company’s courier requirements:
“EWC’s unwavering commitment to working to rigid deadlines is crucial in Barrows’ time-sensitive business. We operate on a JIT (just in time) basis, so 90 percent of our deliveries are urgent. EWC is always under pressure to meet our needs, and they are always prepared to go the extra mile.”
“Our partnership with EWC has been built over the past 14 years, and it is founded on relationships with staff and management, and on EWC’s commitment to exceeding its client’s expectations. EWC has become an integral part of Barrows’ supply chain, ensuring that our deliveries are made on time, to the right place, for the right price,” Moulder said.
Outlining some of the challenges in the industry, Rawstorne added: “In the early days, courier delivery was a profitable business, but the barrier to entry is low and the market has become fiercely competitive.
“Today, courier companies are all striving to handle every aspect of the logistics process, including unloading the containers, storing the products, picking, packing and delivering them. But this is difficult to achieve without having a large organisation, or big brother, behind you, and has led to market consolidation.”
EWC Express offers more than just a courier service. “We aim to become our clients’ distribution partner, offering customised distribution solutions that suit their particular needs, and add value to their company. As part of the greater Imperial Logistics group, we have insight from a global logistics and supply chain leader and access to all services throughout the supply chain process.”
“Over 23 years in the industry, EWC Express has honed its ability to offer personalised service to diverse customers across a multitude of industries. We take time to know our customers, to know their business, understand their products and their unique supply chain requirements,” said Rawstorne.