As e-commerce continues to expand, so will the use of third party logistics (3PL). To make sure your logistics business is the one chosen by retailers, what are the expected market trends to watch for in 2019?
Good Last-Mile Delivery Remains Crucial
At the moment, with the uncertainty over Brexit in 2021, no-one knows to what extent goods arriving from overseas are likely to be held up in the docks, if at all. Nonetheless, consumers will still expect their goods to arrive at the stated time.
Bearing in mind the current concern regarding dockyard hold-ups, many businesses will continue to invest in the latest last-mile post-purchase platform technology, (texts, emails, etc.), to keep customers fully aware of the situation with their particular package.
Warehouse Automation Will Increase
As margins get tighter, warehouse automation, especially processes, will continue to increase. While some staff will be trained for other tasks, some, unfortunately will become surplus, reducing labour costs. Automation will minimise errors and improve efficiency long term.
Although driverless deliveries are already being trialled around some local areas, the time when driverless vehicles or drones are delivering any real distance, is probably still some way in the future.
3PL Providers Will Increase Their Visibility
To keep ahead of the crowd, 3PL providers may find on-time delivery is not quite enough. Consumers form their impression of the carrier from the person who rings the doorbell. Just a pleasant smile and a ‘good morning/afternoon’ from the driver, is often enough to raise satisfaction levels a star or two.
Increasing use of post-purchase platforms and greater visibility by 3PL businesses to customers will continue to grow, and begin to generate their own returns of improved service and reduced overheads.
The Use Of Analytics Will Continue To Grow.
In today’s world of digital technology, improved apps will provide smoother synchronisation between vendors, carriers and customers devices.
The Internet of Things, and Big data will also begin to play an increasingly large part in reducing costs, pinpointing issues, improving consistency and even increase sales. Although the early part of 2019 holds a lot of uncertainty, making sure your third party logistics business is up to the mark could pay big dividends before the end of the year.
At LPC we offer consultancy to help your business weather economic challenges and take advantage of market trends.