Until Rakuten’s acquisition of Alpha Direct Services (ADS) last week, Rakuten was not particularly well known for their ambitions regarding logistics. Pure marketplace providers such as Rakuten or eBay tend to come into this market space rather slowly.
In a close to 100 page quarterly report (PDF), Rakuten elaborates on their (long) road towards “Rakuten Super Logistics”. The plans have been running since 2006 – deliveries have been running for over 2 years already in Japan:
The concept is for fast deliveries across different times of the day:
For their Rakuten Mart supermarket, Rakuten has been using an in-house fleet of vehicles to make grocery deliveries since July:
In Europe, Rakuten points to warehouses in England and France:
The logistics company Alpha Direct was founded by an ex-Bertelsmann/Arvato manager and has been acquired by Rakuten. Rakuten’s main goal here is to have access to their fulfillment technology, which will be used in Japan and elsewhere:
For similar reasons, Amazon took over Kiva Systems early this year for a price of $775 million.
In the quarterly report (PDF), Rakuten provides an extensive look into their global logistics strategy which now counts as one of their three main growth pillars.
Originally posted in German by Jochen Krisch, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.