Wednesday, August 02 2017
Orlando, Fla. —For those of you who can’t believe the month of August is already upon us, let us remind you that the online shopping/delivery season is about to begin sooner than you expect.
Are you still wondering why so many store chains and shopping centers keep closing across the country?
According to the 2016 PwC report “Shifting Patterns: The future of the logistics industry,” supply chain management professionals are in an era of unprecedented change as digitization makes a full entrance to the market and customers’ buying behavior evolve.
A few key issues like higher customer expectations, constant changes and evolution of business models, and intense productivity requirements are currently affecting our commercial landscape and businesses must prepare now to respond wisely using adequate tactics.
One good example is the way customers now perceive shipping services. The great majority of private end-consumers aren’t concerned on who delivers their goods, as long as they get them reliably, quickly and cheaply. Others would just like more flexible delivery and most aren’t willing to pay for shipping: they expect it to be free, though they are prepared to pay a premium for additional services, such as faster delivery for high-value items.
Customers expect to pay the same price for shipping regardless of seasonal capacity constraints faced by their shipper, with the exception of surcharges for same day, overnight or expedited service.
Change in the logistics, transportation, and distribution fields puts company cultures to the test.
The industry is now defining a future that represents an estimated US$4.6 trillion of revenues. Companies can’t afford to sit back and watch; they need to adapt to changing markets proactively.
The authors of the PwC report, maintain that the most successful organizations will be those with agile and flexible cultures that make it easier for people to work together across internal and external boundaries. As the report says, “You need to put your culture to work.”
Many of the new entrants in freight forwarding are basing their offering on more agile pricing. They’re also providing quotes more quickly and increasing price transparency – for example, by linking via API directly to a large number of carriers, and providing customers with their negotiated rates for each of the carriers they use so they can compare directly.
Last-mile delivery has also seen a wave of start-ups in recent years. Some of these companies are using technology to tap into the ‘sharing economy’ by matching available capacity with delivery needs. Uber, currently the largest crowd-sharing platform for passenger transit, has its eye on the logistics markets too. It has established an UberCARGO van service in Hong Kong, and UberRUSH is offering express services by targeting online retailers. Dolly, another start-up headquartered in the US, has a similar approach and helps people to get things transported within their city by connecting them with registered drivers.
The Seattle-based Amazon confirmed that it would be building an 855,000-square-foot facility near Boggy Creek Road and Jeff Fuqua Boulevard, Orlando FL.
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