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Is Air Amazon on the way? Has click-and-collect broken? Are there more questions than answers?


It only seems like last month when I wrote “Amazon is up to something.” At the risk of repeating myself, here we go again.
But first, is click-and-collect broken?

This time last year it was heralded as one of the saviours of Christmas 2014 (with a little help from weekend delivery services too). But according to YouGov, who carried out research on behalf of the Christmas Customer Pulse report from JDA and Centiro, 36% of UK shoppers had a problem with click-and-collect over the festive period, which presumably left them feeling a little less festive.

The kinds of problem they had (queuing for too long, store staff not able to find items, lack of a dedicated collections point) all hint at one underlying issue – capacity. Too many people and not enough bandwidth in the click-and-collect pipe to cater for them. Popularity, it’s a double-edged sword.

Faced with concerns that current delivery networks and providers simply can’t cut it, one retailer is said to be building its own carrier infrastructure and will, one day soon, take on all-comers; we are of course talking about Amazon.

You may have missed some of the speculation that was doing the rounds in late December and early January, but it’s believed the soup-to-nuts seller of books and a whole lot more has set its sights on dominating the skies. From plans to lease 20 Boeing 767s in the US, to using a smaller Boeing 737 in Europe, Air Amazon is thought to be readying itself for take-off.

We’ve taken a long hard look at this to assess what it might all mean to the delivery sector. Part one is up on the site now, and part two will follow soon.

More down to earth, but no less important for it, is the question of investment in the right kind of physical infrastructure to support the UK logistics sector. We’ve covered this issue on eDelivery previously, and now the UKWA is lobbying the government to do something about it.

Elsewhere on eDelivery, we have a feature from the most recent print edition of our magazine called Aligning with the customer, which looks at the operational challenges of maintaining a customer-centric supply chain.

If you’re not receiving a copy of the magazine but would like to please get in touch, or visit the subscription page.

We also have a guest-authored article on the use of data, apps, and mobile technology in the delivery sector, and their potentially transformative use.

If you have an opinion to share and would like to write a guest article for eDelivery, you can email me direct via this link; not everything is going to get an instant thumbs-up, I’m afraid but we’ve had several very interesting articles develop from the ashes of ideas that weren’t initially quite right.

As always, if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet we’d love it if you did. You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. But we won’t spam you – no one’s liked spam since the 1940s, have they? You’ll find details on subscribing here.

You can also join our LinkedIn group for analysis and networking as it happens, or if you want your updates in real-time find us on Twitter @edeliverynet.

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