Geodis links-up with Kiala to enhance B2C options

French operator Geodis has entered a strategic alliance with Kiala to boost its e-business portfolio. Kiala is Europe’s number-one network of pick-up points, covering five countries, and claims to have the most complete network in France. Now the two companies have joined forces to deliver a global transport and delivery service through the network of local pick-up points, primarily for B2C customers.

Part of Geodis’ e-business offering relies on the Kiala network of local delivery points. As an alternative to its home deliveries, the Group now offers a pick-up point delivery service that is “unmatched on the market”; with nationwide next-day express deliveries before midday – and before 10 am for 16,000 localities – through 5,000 local delivery points.

A comprehensive information system has also been set up to provide: e-mail or text alerts when the goods are shipped; tracking information and proof of delivery in real time on the internet; and e-mail or text message alerts when the goods arrive and are available at the delivery points, with a reminder sent four days later.

In addition to e-tailers and mail order specialists, Geodis says customers in manufacturing have also shown an interest in this offering for their B2B deliveries to mobile populations (technicians, salespeople, etc.).

Bruno Mandrin, director of the Geodis Groupage and Express Division, said: “Geodis and Kiala share the same customer-oriented culture, founded on a high quality of service. This is the reason why our partnership is quite natural. I am convinced that this combination of our respective strengths will offer our existing and future customers in France and in Europe a top-drawer service, ideally suited to all the players in the e-business sector.”

In addition, Jean-Louis Demeulenaere, deputy CEO of Geodis, said that “this strategic alliance with Kiala demonstrates the capacity of Geodis, to innovate in order to meet its customer’s needs, and in particular the needs of leading players in the e-business sector”.

Kiala also stands to benefit from the strength of the Geodis network, which picks up the Kiala parcels when leaving the depot, then transports them and delivers them to the final delivery point. Geodis will also take care of returns.

With its network of 112 France Express branches, Geodis will allow Kiala to offer its customers the “highest-quality relay delivery solution on the market”. Geodis and Kiala are also currently looking into new delivery point offerings that will be launched in the coming months.

“France represents an exception to the model that Kiala implements in Europe. From now on, our French customers will be able to benefit from the advantages of a model based on one of the very best transport solutions on the market, plus a network that is directly controlled by Kiala, and therefore fits in perfectly with the needs of our e-business and telecommunications clientele in terms of the location and the type of the business used,” said Denis Payre, Kiala’s president and CEO.

In 2010, e-tailing in France generated a turnover of EUR 31bn, with 300m parcels shipped, up 24% on 2009.  There were 81,900 active e-tailing sites in France in 2010. The turnover of B2C e-tailing in France totalled EUR 18.1bn in 2010. During that year, e-tailing accounted for about 4.2% of household spending.

Geodis says that pick-up points are the second favourite means of distribution amongst web users, just behind home deliveries. They currently account for 20% of e-tailing and mail order deliveries.

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