«We are in preparations to establish an international post-hub in Narva for such international web-stored as Alibaba (parent of AliExpress – edit) and eBay, in order to speed up transportation of goods for clients in Europe and Russia,» Postimees was told by Febest Europe Distribution logistics director Sergei Kudrjavtsev. «At the moment, talks are underway with partners. We are introducing accounting systems for the goods, products lines for sorting out the post will arrive at the beginning of 2016.»
According to Febest’s plan, the e-store will send the most popular stuff like mobile phones etc to the Narva warehouse in advance. As a client in Europe or Russia files an order, he gets the item from Narva in two days instead of having to wait for 30 days for a parcel all the way from China.
«The one to deliver the goods will no longer be China Post, but Omniva or Russian postal service,» explained Mr Kudrjavtsev.
Up to now, close to 22,000 square metre warehouse, built two years ago, has been responsible for distribution into Russia of household appliances and car parts «Made in China».
Currently, the company is busy preparing third module of the warehouse complex for receiving the parcels, the 12 metres high area of which covers over 7,000 square metres. All in all, Narva will thus be able to receive dozens of thousands of various products.
As acknowledged by Estonian e-traders, the Narva business may make it tough for them. «For the local e-stores, this will spell even tougher international competition, but this is inevitable and cannot be escaped,» said Risto Eelmaa, CEO of Itella SmartPOST. «Better if the warehouse comes to Estonia than into Finland. We’ll get extra jobs.»
Mr Eelmaa said it is important for e-commerce to be closer to clients with its goods so the supply times would be shorter. Thus, the Chinese have several intermediary warehouses in Europe i.e. a client orders an item from China but it is dispatched from London.
The coming of AliExpress and eBay warehouse will not damage the operations of Estonian local e-stores as local entrepreneurs are able to offer services unthinkable with international companies: payment by instalments, Estonian language based service, comfortable return of goods.
«Rather, the large international warehouse will do us good by enhancing the business,» said Hansapost board member Taavi Rajur. «Probably, local e-stores will not need the services of the warehouse in Narva as they have already got their own warehouses and Omniva takes goods everywhere in Estonia within one day.»