Streamlining the Delivery Service: Yodel and DG International

Yodel and DG International

Modern Retail had the pleasure of speaking with Duncan Lee, Director of International Business Development at Yodel and Ryan Lucas, Managing Director of DG International.

UK independent parcel carrier, Yodel, has partnered with specialist freight forwarder, DG International, to launch a streamlined global outbound service to UK retailers. Combining the strengths of each business, this service is designed to enable UK retailers to target emerging markets.

The partnership is a result of years of development, with Ryan explaining, “Two and a half years ago, we looked at how we could get involved in the ecommerce market. We had 600 clients at the time, offering the final mile service with different final mile operators. We built a relationship with Yodel and approached them, saying that we don’t offer an international outbound offering and asked if this is something they’d be interested in doing. We scoped it and launched last month, so now it’s about getting the service out there.”

Duncan explained how retailers can enjoy an increased offering through the partnership, “We decided we wanted to explore how we could work together and create outbound international services for our clients and also to help us win new business as well, by offering different services for domestic and international marketplaces. The beauty of working with Ryan and his team is that they are experts in moving freight around the world quickly and have fantastic relationships with final mile service providers in each country. What we’ve created now is a service for retailers, whether it’s an SME client or big corporate shipper. It’s a range of services for lightweight and small parcels requiring track services, all the way through to retailers who want a delivery service for heavier items up to 30kg tracked and signed for. The launch has gone down really well with our client base and we have a lot of interest around it.”

Ryan added, “We couldn’t do it without Yodel and I’m not sure they could do it without us. Our strengths have been leveraged and we’re leveraging Yodel’s strengths… our customers are delighted.”

Brexit is commonly spoken about within the world of retail, shipping and logistics, yet this has opened doors for both Yodel and DG International. Duncan explained: “It’s creating a lot of uncertainty at the moment. What it is doing, however, is enabling us to have conversations with clients and they’re looking at solutions and alternative options. Essentially, Brexit has been an enabler to create communication with clients we might not have spoken to before. Through this, we’re able to understand what they need and help them with their options.”

Through closer communication, retailers are able to enjoy a streamlined process, with Duncan explaining, “It’s been really positive and our clients want to engage with it because they see it as a simple thing to adopt. We can generate the labels on the same shipping tools that they use now. They get the same invoice, account manager and collection vehicle picking your items up, so from the relationship side, it works really well. Alongside that, it’s been about giving them information and insight. For example, retailers may ship to France and Germany every day and be familiar with this, but do they know how to ship to Saudi Arabia and Israel? We are looking to streamline the process, keeping everyone informed. It’s been a fantastic response and we will continue to roll this out as we move into 2020.

“Our account management is very strong and we get fantastic feedback. We have account managers that are dedicated to their clients in helping them grow and introduce new ways for them to sell. We will continue to speak to these clients and use the insight we get from DG from their final mile providers to help us do this.

“We try to integrate marketplaces into the shipping tools so they can just create a label through one shipping method which then takes the tracking information back into that and create a seamless process, so retailers can focus on what they’re best at, which is selling products.”

Explaining the benefits for retailers, Duncan explained, “We predominantly are the business that deals directly with the retailers, so we deal with the people who are shipping the parcels out, dealing directly with them. They are obviously looking to move with the market and introduce different services because the consumers are driving that. We need to provide something that fits in today’s marketplace as we expand the services we have got, listening to what people want and paying attention to the services the marketplace is missing.”

Ryan concluded: “We are basically putting the best of our business with the best of Yodel’s and creating something the clients are really going to see the benefits of. It’s a seamless partnership that’s going to offer endless advantages to both of our client bases.”

Duncan added: “We’ve done the original set up and we’ve got a great partnership moving forward. We are continuing to promote and drive this forward, getting the message out that we have international services and we can help retailers and SMEs to grow.”