Emirates sees rise in e-commerce demand as Covid-19 spurs online shopping

Online shopping platform of Emirates SkyCargo sees 20% uptick in March shipments

Emirates SkyCargo’s e-commerce offering sees strong take-up in the UAE. courtesy: Emirates SkyCargo
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Emirates Delivers, the e-commerce delivery service of the airline's freight arm, reported an increase in demand from UAE consumers as the Covid-19 pandemic spurs online shopping.

The platform recorded an increase in membership and orders since March 2020, Emirates SkyCargo said in a statement on Monday.

The e-commerce platform saw a 20 per cent month-on-month jump in shipments delivered over the last month with customers shopping for a range of products including medicines, supplements, fashion, sporting goods, toys and games.

“We stand by our customers in the UAE during these challenging times to help deliver their valuable shipments from online retailers in the US," Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president of cargo, said.

The freight division said that despite "challenging conditions," including the suspension of all passenger flights from the UAE, Emirates SkyCargo has been connecting Emirates Delivers shipments through its freighter services from the US, offering UAE customers an average transit time of around 7 days.

"Emirates Delivers offers contactless deliveries for its packages in the UAE keeping in consideration the well-being of its customers and staff," the statement said.

Customers who register for the service are assigned a unique and free Emirates Delivers mailing address in the USA. Customers can have their online purchases from US e-commerce retailers delivered to this address where the goods can be stored free of charge for up to 30 days.

Customers can then create a shipping request to consolidate the different purchases and have them shipped to a designated UAE address anytime within 30 days.

"Customers save money by taking advantage of cheaper shipping costs within the US and between the US and UAE with Emirates," the Emirates SkyCargo said.

Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, started the online shopping package delivery service between the US and the UAE to capitalise on e-commerce growth and cope with a decline in global air freight.

Emirates SkyCargo, the largest international air cargo operator globally, launched Emirates Delivers in October 2019.

The deadly coronavirus pandemic has disrupted daily life across the world, crippled international trade, devastated air travel and plunged the global economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression.