E-Commerce: Timely Fulfillment Is Hot Topic With Online Holiday Shopping

Online retailers increase their fleets to meet delivery demands.

After online retailers disappointed shoppers in 1999 by failingto make timely holiday deliveries, this year they must prove theirstaying power and generate loyalty among holiday shoppers whoinsist on efficient delivery. With holiday e-commerce expected toincrease 66 percent this year over last year, according to JupiterCommunications, the main issue on the minds of consumers is whetheror not those purchases will be delivered on time.

"Delivery companies are increasing their fleets to meetdemand," said Tom Frey, president of Workhorse Custom Chassis,which manufactures chassis and bodies for step vans. "Deliverycompanies are working harder, and we're working harder to getWorkhorse step vans to the delivery companies." Two-year-oldWorkhorse has seen an 80 percent increase in step van chassisorders in 2000 versus 1999. And to meet increased demand for urbandelivery vehicles, Workhorse created the FasTrack program, offeringonline sales and support for four base models of complete stepvans, and cutting the manufacturing time of vehicles to four weeks,from the industry standard of 14 weeks.

The delivery dilemma doesn't stop in December. ForresterResearch predicts year-round online orders will rise above the $2billion mark by 2003, putting increased pressure on deliverycompanies by consumers and e-tailers to deliver on time. For moreinformation, call (877) 294-6773 or visit http://www.workhorsecc.com.

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