Distirbutor Esquire Technologies has launched its own courier company in order to cut costs for clients making use of the company’s online ordering process.
The solution is also aimed at benefitting Esquire’s Virtual Reseller Network, which boasts more than 500 online stores.
The courier service, called CourierDirect, already has a fleet of 12 vehicles, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of January 2016. The launch will be phased in once Web Services, which is currently in final development phase, is completed – and final finishing touches are done to the CourierDirect web site.
“Setting up  CourierDirect has been a multi-million rand investment,” says Asgar Mahomed, MD of Esquire Technologies. “The company will essentially piggy-back off Esquire’s existing infrastructure, including the branches in Midrand, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.”
Frank Nolte, GM of CourierDirect, says the company will operate nationwide and, where it has no presence, independent couriers will be contracted.
“The rationale behind starting up a new courier business when there are already so many options available, is that if you are a small scale e-commerce start up, using courier services can prove to be very costly at times,” says Nolte. “You need to make sure that the margins are good enough for you to continue using a particular service provider – yet make sure that the service is reliable.   Accordingly, almost all courier companies have a similar price structure charge.”
For example, some courier companies cost small items by weight, and large items by volume. Others have different pricing for different delivery zones. But in the end it all comes down to the fact that they all have a similar pricing structure, Nolte says.
“That is why we are adopting a different approach which will enable us to bring prices down. We will, for instance, charge per delivery – whether we are transporting one or five TVs.  Basically, what we are doing is converting our standard delivery into a more formalised courier service.
“We see this as a value added service to customers,” Nolte adds. “Because we fundamentally already have the logistics in place, we will be able to hit the tarmac running – providing a fully-fledged courier service from the first day of commercial launch.”