Yesterday, Hong-Kong based 3PL Kerry Logistics’ delivery arm, Kerry Express, signed in a new partnership with VGI Global Media (VGI), the multimedia subsidiary of Bangkok’s mass transit system. In the deal, Kerry Express will issue 23 percent of its shares to VGI, amounting to about US$1.8 billion.
Kerry Express, which has 600 distribution centers and 2,500 service centers throughout Thailand, plans to provide logistics services for VGI as the city increases its effort to expand its online-to-offline (O2O) infrastructure. O2O refers to the fusion of e-commerce with traditional commerce that is rising in popularity in Central and Southeast Asia.
CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has integrated O2O into the e-commerce giant’s strategy, describing the concept as “the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.”
In the collaboration, Kerry Express said it will “expand its service portfolio” with the use of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, further extending its delivery routes. The company will be allowed to use all BTS Skytrain stations for parcel collection and drop-off points.
“This joint-venture navigates new growth opportunities and connectivity with an ever-evolving e-commerce ecosystem,” said William Ma (no relation to Jack Ma), group managing director of Kerry Logistics.
Kerry Express’ platform for transactions allows the acceptance of cash upon delivery, as well as an app that acts like Apple Wallet. As e-commerce services like Alibaba and JD.com continue to transform the world’s mercantile landscape, we may see more emerging partnerships like this – between 3PLs, government entities and retailers – to meet new expectations of e-commerce consumers.