The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly altered lifestyles and consumer habits.
With consumers confined to home during the outbreak and social distancing becoming a norm, many have turned to shopping online, resulting in explosive sales for e-commerce retailers.
While the pandemic has left in its wake a devastating impact on traditional brick-and-mortar business operations, with sales from conventional retail stores declining sharply, it has at the same time created new opportunities for companies to tap into.
“When we started our express delivery service business a year and a half ago, we only had one customer service centre in Phnom Penh. Today, we have a network of 30 branches across the country,” Cambodian Express Co Ltd deputy CEO Vincent Zhang told The Post.
The company commenced operations in April last year to provide express delivery services connecting e-commerce retailers from China to their customers in Cambodia.
With Cambodia being an integral part of China’s Asean Belt and Road Initiative, the Kingdom has in recent years experienced a boom in foreign investments, notably in the manufacturing, construction, technology and business support services sector.
And this has led to an increase in demand for logistics services, in particular express delivery services.
“Every business needs to be supported by delivery services, regardless of whether it is run using conventional or technology-enabled means, as raw materials and finished products need to be transported from one place to another, be it from business to business, business to consumer or consumer to consumer.
“Furthermore, we saw a gap that needed to be filled for quality affordable express delivery services, especially with e-commerce platforms gaining popularity among the younger generation of consumers,” Zhang said.
Despite having been established over a short period of time, Cambodian Express has managed to capture a sizeable portion of the express delivery market, now averaging 4,000 to 5,000 parcels per day – a notable achievement considering the company received 100 parcels in its first month of operations and the present market leader averages 8,000 to 9,000 parcels daily.
Zhang said the success of Cambodian Express is built on three key attributes – reliability, service quality and affordability.
“Reliability and the quality of our services is achieved because we manage the entire logistics and delivery ecosystem solely on our own, thereby allowing us to have total control. We do not appoint or outsource any services simply because doing so, we believe, will compromise our pledge of delivering the highest quality services to the customer.
“Having teams of professionals who have broad experience in both the international and Cambodian markets has enabled us offer express delivery services at the most competitive prices.
“By making our rates affordable – starting from $0.80 up to three kilograms for the same city, $1.25 inter-provincially up to three kilograms and $1 per kilogram for deliveries from China – we hope to encourage the widespread use of Cambodian Express delivery services nationwide, while at the same time transform the perception of such services as a secure, convenient and cost effective way to transport goods and products,” he said.
Being one of a handful of express delivery companies incorporated in the Kingdom, Cambodian Express has also set its sights on making a substantial contribution to developing the nation’s economy.
This is reflected in the company’s corporate vision and its aspirations to be the leading express delivery service provider in Cambodia.
As well as creating jobs for Cambodians, who make up almost 95 per cent of its 300-strong workforce, the company also organises special events as part of its corporate social responsibility contributions to underprivileged communities.
The most recent was a “Happy Back to School” charity drive in Siem Reap province where schoolbags containing stationery gift sets were distributed to primary school students.
Taking the lead from its remarkable achievements over the past year, Cambodian Express is pushing forward with renewed motivation as it seeks to break new ground in expanding its business.
“For an upstart independent express delivery service like us to capture such a significant share of the market is unprecedented. This goes to show that with the right people, the right business focus and the right level of commitment, anything is possible,” Zhang said.