The business has grown 300% in the first six months with our platform on AWS. We are now delivering goods bought from various merchants to 370 7-Eleven stores across Hong Kong. 
Steven Kwok Project Manager

Hong Kong-based Royale International Group has been providing global express delivery services since 1980. The company combines global networks with locally-based operations to give customers a secure end-to-end delivery solution for their goods. To enable greater levels of support, Royale International Group makes full use of technology so clients have constant visibility of the status of their shipments.

When Royale International Group secured a contract to ship goods from Taobao in China to 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong—which are increasingly popular online-order collection points for Hong Kong residents—the company needed a platform for coordinating shipments with all parties. The infrastructure had to link online retailers to the Royale International Group warehouse in Hong Kong, and 7-Eleven stores to Royale International Group couriers. Steven Kwok, project manager at Royale International Group says, “Our plan was to start delivering to just under 100 7-Eleven stores with goods provided by the Taobao online marketplace. Our strategy was to start small and grow quickly. As such, we never really considered an on-premises solution because of the expected setup costs and lack of scalability.” 

Royale International Group began using Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015 to run a number of small internal systems, but it quickly saw the potential for AWS to support the 7-Eleven project. The initial environment for the project contained instances of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with Auto Scaling running alongside the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MariaDB. Once user acceptance testing was completed, the environment was linked to 50 7-Eleven stores. Says Kwok, “While we considered other cloud service providers, AWS was by far the most compelling service. We knew how easy AWS is to work with, and wanted to continue our engagement. It paid off because we were able to launch the infrastructure to coordinate 7-Eleven and Taobao deliveries in just three months.”

At the end of 2015, Royale International Group revamped the environment, introducing more AWS services. These included database services Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon API Gateway to create and publish APIs so 7-Eleven store managers, merchant administrators, and Royale International Group couriers could access data on deliveries. To enhance performance, the platform also incorporated Elastic Load Balancing to route app traffic between services with AWS Lambda running the app code in response to events. The business is also using AWS CloudFormation, Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring, AWS Command Line Tool, and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) for management and security. “We can now focus on the business logic of our software knowing AWS is taking care of our infrastructure,” says Kwok.

The figure below illustrates Royale International Group’s environment in AWS:

royale-international_arch-diagram

Royale International Group is seeing rapid growth with its 7-Eleven service after migrating to AWS. Says Kwok, “The business has grown 300 percent in the first six months with our platform on AWS. We are now delivering goods bought from various merchants to 370 7-Eleven stores across Hong Kong.”

At present, couriers are delivering around 1,000 packages a day to the stores, but the number is expected to increase as Royale International Group extends the service to more online merchants who are keen to use 7-Eleven stores as collection points. According to Kwok, the company couldn’t have supported the rapid increase in business with an on-premises solution. “It would take around two weeks to scale our platform with an on-premises infrastructure, and we would need to significantly over provision resources to cope with a sudden increase. This is too costly for us. By using AWS, we can scale the platform in one or two minutes,” says Kwok.

Furthermore, the company has been able to scale the infrastructure easily to meet demand because of the design of AWS. Services are grouped by their function so they can be maintained independently, reducing workloads. Additionally, Royale International Group can deliver tailored solutions to multiple merchants using Amazon API Gateway without the need to modify the underlying system, which also saves the business time and money.

Royale International Group is moving a step closer to ISO 9001 accreditation now that the business is using AWS. This is due to the security of the AWS platform, which enables Royale International Group to maintain a high level of customer service. “Our auditor is very happy because Elastic Load Balancing works with Amazon VPC to make our security robust. Essentially, we can make sure that every connection with our clients is secure and SSL compliant,” says Kwok.

Kwok is excited about the possibilities of introducing Internet of Things (IoT) technology into the operations of Royale International Group through AWS. The company is running a proof of concept right now with AWS IoT. “We see plenty of opportunities for introducing AWS IoT into our warehouse operation. One example would be deploying temperature sensors so we can more closely monitor temperatures, which in turn could help us develop new services around perishable goods,” says Kwok.

To learn more about how AWS can help with your e-commerce needs, visit our E-Commerce Applications details page.