Over the course of this year, we’ve seen many new parcel delivery management trends on the rise. The effects of COVID-19 have continued to push shippers’ fulfillment limits and threaten delivery times, making parcel tracking more important than ever. And there has been a huge shift in supply chain performance goals. Now, the importance of supply predictability and efficiency is often minimized to provide the delivery flexibility consumers demand, a difficult dynamic to navigate altogether given recent – and increasing – supply disruptions.
So, what are we looking forward to in 2022? We believe providing a satisfactory consumer experience will continue to be a key theme and should therefore be top of mind as you devise delivery management strategies for your 2022 shipping. We have identified four areas on which to focus:
Location is Everything
In a shipping landscape where consumer convenience dominates, carriers are pushed to get products to consumers faster – as fast as delivery same-day or even delivery within two hours, introduced and normalized by e-commerce giants such as Amazon and grocery and pharmacy chains such as Walgreens and Kroger. But to mimic these retailers’ ability to provide this kind of instant gratification, most retailers need two things: fulfillment centers with available inventory, and fulfillment locations close to their consumers.
Hence, all eyes are on location. If you have a product in a distribution center, but the inventory is in your store and your store is geographically closer to your consumer, shipping from the store instead of the distribution center will decrease shipping costs and improve time-to-delivery. Alternately, major retailers can also offer click-and-collect services, which eliminate shipping costs altogether. Referred to as BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) or BOPIC (buy-online-pickup-curbside) these services enable retailers to better compete with e-commerce retailers such as Amazon by providing them with a way to offer same-day/next-day shipping to customers without incurring prohibitive shipping costs. And as proven during the pandemic, BOPIS also yields advantages such as contactless delivery, protecting the safety of store associates and customers alike.
Pop Up Distribution Centers
We all love to shop local, so shopping and shipping local naturally go hand in hand. We are seeing a rise in pop-up distribution centers, which bridge the gap that exists between the consumer and the distribution center. Used by major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon, pop-up distribution centers operate similarly to pop-up shops, enabling retailers to quickly and cost-effectively respond to localized demand surges in their supply chains. Shipping products from isolated warehouses to the consumer’s door can take a long stretch of time, so having more localized distribution centers decreases delivery time and allows consumers to receive their orders sooner.
Cooperation Between Companies
As e-commerce retailers face added pressure to improve their delivery times, out-of-the-box solutions are being developed to meet this need for speed. The partnership between Walmart and Home Depot is one prime example. To expand same-day and next-day shipping, Home Depot has partnered with Walmart’s GoLocal delivery service to take advantage of Walmart’s expansive distribution network. Not only does this free Home Depot from the major carriers’ capacity constraints, but it also cuts shipping costs for Home Depot and gets products into the hands of their consumers faster.
With such monumental steps being taken by two retail powerhouses, we anticipate many other retailers will follow suit and either create their own distribution network or partner with a larger retailer that offers one.
Every parcel we ship has an impact on the global environment: the manufacturing of the parcel box, the insulation within the package, the gas used for delivery, and the way in which the parcel is disposed once it’s been delivered successfully. This cycle has a negative effect on our environment.
Consumers eager to make same-day delivery the norm are putting pressure on the environment by doing so. Instead of waiting until their regular shopping day to pick something up from the store, they instead want it delivered immediately, which initiates a larger carbon footprint that could have been avoided. Shipping stakeholders worldwide are discussing how to remedy the problem and are likely to continue this discussion into the coming year.
Improve Your Delivery Management in 2022 with Logistyx
Logistyx provides multi-carrier parcel shipping technology to streamline the journey from label to last-mile delivery. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our solutions!