Blog

Fulfillment Industry Shake-Out

Today, my summer intern asked me about my measure of success. Was my goal to get big enough to go public or get sold, he asked? It was a timely question from him, as there as been a lot of recent merger and acquisition activity in our industry. This is typical for a new industry and is neither good or bad –  exits happen! M&A activity simply underscores the need to understand the goals of critical business partners. Some clients of the acquired companies listed below will be thrilled to be part of larger organizations, while others will bemoan the upheaval that comes with a change in control.

Here’s a quick run-down of the M&A and investment activity in our industry:

  • PFSWeb, a publicly traded fulfillment and call center operation, took a $15 million “strategic investment” from Japanese outsourcer Transcosmos. After a year in which they lost two big clients, PSFWeb also announced a new CEO and new board members.
  • Webgistix, a VC-funded fulfillment operation from NY State, was acquired by Rakuten, another big Japanese firm who aims to challenge Amazon in the U.S.
  • Newgistics, a freight company, acquired AtLast Fulfillment. Newgistics pulled an IPO a couple of years ago, citing unfavorable market conditions. Perhaps they acquired AtLast to boost an upcoming IPO?
  • Last year, publicly traded software distributor Navarre acquired Speed Fulfillment Company. The interesting aspect of that acquisition is that Navarre had hoped to re-position themselves as an e-commerce fulfillment player. A year later, Navarre is abandoning their 330,000 s.f. Minneapolis distribution center and consolidating into Speed’s Texas facility. It now looks like Speed bought Navarre – more of a reverse merger. (We know a bit about Navarre as they had inquired if OWD was available for purchase two years ago. Nice people. We politely declined.)
  • Then there was eBay’s acquisition of GSI Commerce, which was proceeded by GSI’s acquisition of NewRoads and several other marketing companies. eBay most recently invested in Shipwire, who has taken several rounds of outside funding.

I told my intern of watching PSFWeb go public, of hearing about Shipwire’s venture capital investors and of being a bit envious. At times, I wondered if One World Direct should also take outside money to speed our growth. Years later, I’m happy that we stayed independent. I like knowing that I can look our clients in the eye and tell them that we’ll be around tomorrow and that the buck does, indeed, stop with me. I told him that my measure of success was in living up to our name. When I can walk into OWD offices around the world, I’ll be satisfied.

Thomas E. Unterseher
Co-Founder & CEO
One World Direct
www.owd.com

Fulfillment Costs

Fulfillment costs are based on three criteria: size, weight and delivery time.

OWD offers five service levels: economy (7-10 days); Standard (5-7 days), 2-Day, Overnight and International.

Starting At

$3.99

Per Unit

FAQs

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International Shipping

The old way to ship internationally

DDU means Delivery Duty Unpaid – where the buyer pays for all of the import fees at delivery.

Unexpected import fees give buyers sticker shock – not good. When they refuse to pay, you’ve lost a sale and must pay to return your product, or abandon it.

DDU is an old idea whose time has passed. For these reasons and more, OWD doesn’t recommend DDU for e-com sellers.

The best way to ship internationally

DDP is an acronym for Delivery Duty Paid. DDP means that the seller pays for all the duties and import fees.

With DDP, your customers won’t be surprised with unexpected customs charges – good!

With OWD’s landed cost calculator, your foreign customers will know exactly what their various VAT, customers and duties will cost. No unhappy surprises.

Ship flat-rate anywhere in the world starting at:

$16.39

One World Direct, B.V.

For large-scale operations needing a full solution in Europe, there’s OWD Europe, based in Amsterdam.

We Make Contact Center EASY

Sell More with Live Agents

The Services

OWD handles phone calls, e-mails and web chat eighteen hours a day from our own state-of-the-art facility.

We’ll handle your inbound sales and customer service contacts.

You get career agents who speak American English and know how to sell.

The Costs

$99 gets you 200 calls, e-mails or chats handled every week.

You get your own phone number and custom e-mail.

We do a lot more. Call for details.

More than a Call Center

Get Virtual Assistants as needed

One World’s contact center in Mobridge, South Dakota.

The Voice of Your Brand

We Make Returns EASY

Returns? Yuck.
One World has a simple solution.

All-Inclusive Returns

OWD’s all-inclusive Returns service provides simplicity and high-end customer service. OWD includes a pre-printed return label as part of your packing slip. Your customer need only drop it in the mail.

What’s included: packaging slip with return label, QC inspection, re-bag, re-tag and return to stock. What’s excluded: postage cost, poly bags and any special packaging.

Base Price

$4.95

Add-On Services

Call For Quotes