Last week was an incredibly busy week for our UK Country Manager, Kevin Barrett. We whisked him off to Amsterdam to attend the OPENeX official launch and Parcel and Post events. Below Kevin shares his thoughts and feedback on the busy three days he had.
What a few days!
Ibundle is a technology partner of NeX and Sunday 22nd October was the start of their official launch event at the Barbizon Hotel in central Amsterdam. Many would ask - what is NeX?
The new ecosystem of e-commerce shipping experts
NeX is a brand new community to connect members with global supply chain next-gen leaders & innovators. It aims to be the leading ecosystem of experts offering innovative eCommerce logistics solutions to the supply chain by harnessing partnerships, knowledge, and tools, empowering leading supply chain providers to scale eCommerce capacity seamlessly, efficiently, profitably, and sustainably.
Sunday 22nd October
The NeX event began with registration and a cocktail reception in the hotel bar and lobby. It was a great opportunity to meet all the delegates attending in a relaxed atmosphere, make new connections with leading industry figures and discuss the exciting talks and presentations we were going to enjoy the following day.
Monday 23rd October
Kicking off at 08:30 with a coffee reception, more networking began! After a fantastic welcome speech from NeX CEO Justus Kluver-Schlotfeldt we received a presentation of the NeX platform from CTO Neo Kong. The platform allows all NeX members to access the services available from each other member and partner from experts in customs clearance, returns, fulfilment, sustainability, freight and technology, including ibundle.
There were then some really interesting panel discussions about green innovation in eCommerce supply chains, including HVO fuels which can reduce carbon emissions by 90% and help businesses achieve their sustainability goals.
E-commerce returns was next on the agenda - often a real pain point for many online retailers, especially those dealing with cross-border returns. It was awesome to see the innovation in that space to drive the circular economy, reduce cost, waste and improve customer experience. It’s an area in which ibundle specialises, so feel free to reach out to us to learn more.
As we moved towards the end of the day it was my turn to take the stage, along with Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane and hosted by Mirja Nissen, eCommerce logistics and supply chain veteran and head of USA at ibundle. We discussed the importance of customs and trade compliance and how the utilisation of AI can be both a huge benefit and hindrance. It was also an opportunity to highlight the ibundle and Hurricane partnership that helps small and medium sized online retailers streamline their cross border customs data processes, including tax and duty calculations on the retailers checkout - more on that to come in an upcoming blog post.
The day finished with a champagne roundtable for delegates to have one to one discussions with the wealth of experts in the room. Overall it was a well organised, thoroughly enjoyable event by NeX and I walked away with many new contacts and opportunities. I would strongly recommend the NeX network to businesses in the eCommerce supply chain space. You can find out more and/or request membership at https://nex-network.com/
Tuesday 24th October - Parcel and Post Exhibition
This was my first time attending the Parcel and Post exhibition. The event seems tailored to the warehousing/processing and final mile delivery elements of the eCommerce supply chain. It was fascinating to see the latest cutting-edge technology and equipment available to maximise efficiency in warehousing and pick/pack, and the on-going development in parcel locker technology.
There were talks with excellent insights from industry leaders in the world of eCommerce shipping and a great atmosphere across the three exhibition halls. Like the NeX event, there was plenty of opportunity to network with industry peers too.
Overall it was a terrific three days. I came away with lots of new knowledge, new contacts and a fist full of business cards from industry leaders wishing to learn more about ibundle and potential partnerships. Now - back to the day job!