Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has launched a new e-commerce delivery platform that allows consumers to shop from multiple online retailers in the US and have the goods delivered in the UAE.
The first phase of the new platform, called Emirates Delivers, is now live and is available to individuals and small businesses in the UAE.
An ‘open e-commerce’ fulfilment platform, Emirates Delivers can also be used by other e-commerce businesses and logistics integrators.
Users can register for free on the Emirates Delivers website and members are then allocated a unique mailing address in Florida, US. They can have their online purchases from US retailers or family and friends delivered to this address.
Once the orders are received, the goods can be shipped immediately or can be stored free of charge for up to 30 days when users can add more purchases.
All the items will then be consolidated into one parcel and then transported to Dubai on Emirates SkyCargo’s flights from the US.
The packages will be delivered in the UAE within two to five days of the creation of the shipping request and can be picked up at the Emirates headquarters or delivered to an address.
The charges begin from Dhs47 per kilo for between 1-3kgs, and drop to Dhs40 per kilo for 5kg with rates reducing further for increased weight. For instance, it will cost approximately Dhs501 for a package weighing 15kg, according to the website.
The company will offer small, medium and large package options and can also transport items such as tyres and furniture, confirmed Dennis Lister, VP – Cargo Commercial Development at Emirates SkyCargo.
All the related charges for taxes and/or custom duties will be informed upfront before shipping with payment also collected before delivery so that customers can make an informed decision, he explained.
“Our plan is that as volumes increase, the rates and costs will come down,” he said.
The company has already carried out testing with 4,000 users. It currently expects to handle between 1,000 to 5,000 packages per day.
Emirates SkyCargo offers cargo capacity on its fleet of over 265 wide-body aircraft including 12 freighters- 11 Boeing 777-Fs and one B747F. The carrier operates to 13 destinations in the US, offering cargo capacity on over 100 weekly flights including scheduled freighter services to destinations including Columbus, Chicago, Houston and New York.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said Emirates is the first international cargo airline in the world to develop a dedicated e-commerce delivery platform.
“Growth in cargo volumes has been slower this year as compared to the last two years due to geo-political factors such as trade wars. Hence we are looking at new areas for growth such as e-commerce.
“The e-commerce industry has grown by more than 150 per cent in the last five years and it is predicted to continue seeing growth over the next few years.”
To meet demand, Emirates Delivers will further expand in the next few phases to cover more markets within the airline’s network.
It is expected to be implemented in the next six months.
“We are actively working on expanding the availability of Emirates Delivers to a larger number of source and destination markets in the near future,” said Sultan.
The final plan is to also allow retailers in the UAE to ship to external markets as part of efforts to establish Dubai as a hub for e-commerce, he added.