Can MonarchFx Transform e-Commerce Logistics?

MonarchFx Map

MonarchFx is planning to cover the US for e-commerce logistics.

It’s not every day that a new business is announced with a strong ability to execute, particularly not when it comes to logistics. In November, there was one. The MonarchFx Alliance is out to provide a transformative new option for e-commerce logistics.

The term Alliance is a hint to the secret sauce: it’s collaborative. Just as a single seller cannot efficiently and cost-effectively cover the entire US, a single 3PL, 4PL or Logistics provider cannot either. The MonarchFx Alliance is the brainchild of Jim Tompkins, long-time supply chain consultant and provocateur.

As customer expectations in the U.S. have shifted based on same-day, 1-day and 2-day delivery from Amazon, companies selling via e-commerce have been stuck in an untenable situation. For customers in certain areas, fast last mile delivery is either at high expense – which customers do not expect to have passed on to them – or so slow they create a poor customer experience. Amazon is an option for consumer goods, but that has its own separate e-commerce processes and systems.

Starting in the summer of 2017, MonarchFx plans to have 3-day delivery in 47 of the 48 states in the contiguous US from its 6 fulfillment centers (see the graphic). This option is not intended to replace a company’s current logistics network, but rather complement it where and when needed. A seller will be able to use MonarchFx for the specific orders their current network cannot fulfill in the expected timeframe.

The value proposition to sellers is around having

  • A trusted partner who will never become a seller or share the seller’s data
  • Efficiency, velocity and low cost through scale and co-mingled inventory with other sellers
  • Automated fulfillment centers for pick, pack and ship

MonarchFx Alliance is formed from known supply chain operators (consulting, software, 3PL, 4PL, transportation) who already own and operate a variety of locations and routes. The mission is pretty bold: “To create, build and manage a substantial logistics ecosystem that establishes MonarchFx Alliance and its Members as the preferred e-fulfillment logistics solution in the U.S.”

There will be specific flavors of MonarchFx for various industries, including:

  • MonarchFa for apparel
  • MonarchFf for furniture
  • MonarchFi for industrial products

Monarch butterflies are heroic creatures, going through a complete transformation from one form to another and traveling very long distances on a schedule each year. If MonarchFx can execute to its vision, it could transform many companies’ options for e-commerce logistics. It could also enjoy enormous growth, as e-commerce continues to grow (at over 14% in 2015 according to the US Department of Commerce). There are many moving parts to MonarchFx, but Tompkins has worked for several years laying the groundwork.

Many companies are realizing that fast, low-cost e-commerce logistics is a critical missing element to the customer experience they want to create. If you are working hard to create an omni-channel fulfillment capability for your company, it will be worth your while to check out this new option. It will be interesting to follow the progress and growth of this collaborative effort. Let me know what you discover if you check into it!


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