Customers across Singapore are expressing disappointment that Amazon Prime Now is overwhelmed with demand. The company seems to have underestimated the enthusiasm and has opted to not accept deliveries rather than make false promises.
As of Thursday night, the Amazon response is, “due to great customer response, delivery is currently unavailable,” according to The Straits Times.
This sky-high interest puts the pressure on the logistics partners, which will be operating at full-speed for the coming days. If Amazon is going to stop accepting orders, they absolutely must make sure the deliveries arrive on time.
Amazon chose to partner with a third party to handle the logistics, and after the non-disclosure agreement lifted, we now know who it is.
The company behind this high-stakes last-mile logistics system is RIVERWOOD, a Singaporean company led by Syafiq Yusoff and Shereen Yusoff.
According to The Straits Times, Nina Van will also be playing a supporting role during the process.
RIVERWOOD provides logistics solutions for companies like Singapore Post, DHL E-commerce and Standard Chartered. Interestingly, one of its clients is honestbee, a startup that people think will be the most directly impacted by the launch of Amazon Prime Now.
RIVERWOOD offers all sorts of products — from retail logistics to freight solutions, industrial options and even help with moving.
e27 has reached out to RIVERWOOD for an interview.
In a Facebook post, Shamir Rahim, an apparent friend, and CEO of his own logistics company Versa Fleet, let the world know who was delivering Singaporeans their Amazon goods.
A personal anecdote
Yesterday, after our media tour, I stepped outside to hail a taxi and saw a long line of vehicles idling in the driveway (from private coups to company vans). It was only when a ground controller waved six-cars forward that I realised this was the logistics army.
It was fascinating to watch in action. People sitting there for who-knows how long, listening to music or podcasts, then, when it was their turn, speed up the warehouse ramp, take a right turn and disappear.
Their peers would come driving down the opposite direction and speed off to the distant neighbourhoods.
An old uncle, apparently noticing my curiosity, approached me and said, “Look, they are putting all these people to work…so busy.” Then he said that this was a good thing and went his way.
It was great to discover the company behind this busy beehive was RIVERWOOD, and that they had beat out larger companies to ink the contract.
Today, e27 received our order that we placed yesterday (it arrived on time, but we had to nab a next-day time slot). The uncle who delivered the goods explained that he is basically spending his time running around delivering items. There is no lull in his day, he said, and he just hustles until the shift is over.
While today there is a certain degree of patience for the underwhelming roll-out in Singapore, let’s see what happens if the current situation continues over the coming days and weeks.