Amazon extends its Transparency scheme
On Monday, it was revealed that Amazon is expanding its existing transparency program to combat counterfeiting. The original program was only tested in March on Amazon’s own products and labels. But third-party retailers, who sell items through Amazon Marketplace, now have access to join it. Currently, it is voluntary to take part in the transparency scheme. However, at some point, it most likely will become compulsory for retailers.
This transparency scheme gives consumers information about the products origins, such as location, materials and manufacturing date. Items involved in the program can be identified by a transparency label, which also has a unique code on it. Customers can use the Amazon app to scan the codes, similar to a barcode, to provide them with product information. Brands and retailers can buy these codes from Amazon to place on every unit of merchandise it wishes to sell through the Marketplace platform. Amazon is notifying sellers without codes on their products, that there is a chance they will be removed from the platform if they don’t have these codes.
More information on the program can be found here.
Tiger Rail – freight service linking Europe and China
On Tuesday, it was announced that ‘Tiger Rail’, a new railway freight service between Germany and China, had been launched by Tigers, a supply chain expert in Hong Kong. The first shipment began its journey during the summer to distribute auto parts, construction materials and electronics for one of the biggest exhaust and suspension system manufacturers. This service is cost-effective and takes 16 days to reach the final destination, providing shorter transfer times than cargo ships, lower prices than air cargo and integrated logistics.
Tiger Rail consists of scheduled shipments running along the new Silk Road on a weekly basis, to and from over 15 Chinese stations that customers can hire and book. These include, for example, a train, or Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL). This service also offers customers lower transportation costs for the return of empty containers in Switzerland for services in the West, and Shipper’s Own Container (SOC) for services in the East. Furthermore, there is a platform, Tiger Trax, where shipments can be tracked.
To read more about this freight service, click here.
A startup offers e-commerce sites a return center network
This week, Happy Returns, a startup company, announced its strategy to form a system of return points inside shopping malls and small independent businesses across the U.S. Deals were made with numerous mall establishments, such as Simon and Westfield. It was agreed that space in the shopping center would either be rented out for a Happy Returns desk or, the current Guest Services desks would be used to receive returns. As a result, Happy Returns has now increased its amount of return locations to 40 within 14 metropolitan zones, with additional locations in the process of being added to the network.
Moreover, young e-commerce sites who have a small amount or no physical stores, for example Everlane and Eloquii, have joined the returns network, so that their customers are able to return products at shopping centers nearby. This expansion was funded by a $4 million investment from venture capitalists as an effort to take a similar path to Amazon by obtaining stores that can serve as a return center for other e-commerce sites.
To find out more about the returns network, click here.
Have a great weekend!
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