The Covid-19 pandemic has brought in unprecedented changes across industries and changed the way a business is being conducted. One of the industries that has been affected the most is the logistics and supply chain industry as online orders and deliveries have increased because customers stayed home.
The impact of this is likely to spread across 2021 and supply chain and logistics companies will see increased business activity in the New Year as online deliveries scaled new heights.
In a world driven by the virtual or online purchasing, businesses are quickly waking up to the reality that the last mile is the most important physical touchpoint between a brand and the customer.
Embracing digital tools that enhance routing, scale deliveries, boost driver productivity, shrink delivery turnaround-time, and optimise delivery costs will be the smart way forward to build robust logistics operations in 2021.
As online deliveries increased, many logistics companies saw increased activity during the year. This includes FarEye, Locus and Loginext. Their services were availed by many companies across the corporate spectrum for last mile deliveries. For instance, HomeTown, one of India’s leading furniture and lifestyle retailers, part of the Future Group, partnered with FarEye to orchestrate last mile deliveries, achieve real-time visibility and enhance customer experience.
Leveraging FarEye’s logistics orchestration platform, HomeTown was able to streamline processes such as assigning orders to delivery executives, tracking incomplete orders and return and replacement requests, and scheduling appointments for installation.
Using FarEye’s logistics support HomeTown improved delivery turnaround time by 50 per cent and achieved a 60 per cent reduction in customer calls due to proactive communication regarding orders and deliveries. The brand’s “Home Office” section saw a 3x increase in demand.
Suffice to predict basis the action in 2020, there are some definite trends that will be visible in 2021 as logistics and supply chain companies innovate to provide better services. Some of them include:
Contactless delivery to continue and evolve: To protect customers from human contact, logistics companies have been providing contactless delivery service across verticals. Many leading technology-driven logistics companies are providing no or low contact operation in their last mile delivery. They are adopting intelligent routing, contactless deliveries, logistics and cost optimisation to provide best solution to companies and customers alike. Companies are also using new technologies like Internet of Things, Blockchain and RFID to monitor deliveries and better streamline operations.
New Fulfilment models: Supply chain and logistics companies have also adopted new fulfilment models during the pandemic which will optimize deliveries and costs, wherein they are bringing in new efficiencies in delivery through new processes and technology.
Companies are using processes that ensure orders are fulfilled in a timely and accurate manner leading to maximum customer satisfaction. Some of the new practices include speedy, timely and assured delivery of goods to customers at the most optimised cost.
Curb side deliveries or Pick up and Drop Off (PUDO) deliveries which allow pick up and drop of goods at neighbourhood warehouses or stores is also an emerging trend aided by logistics companies and is expected to become a bigger entity in 2021.
Refrigerated Shipping: A new trend among supply chain companies was the use of refrigerated trucks to transport good, especially medicines and fresh food. According to Persistence Market Research, the global market for shipping containers is estimated to a value higher than $11 billion by the end of 2025. According to research, refrigerated shipping containers are likely to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2 per cent through 2025 -higher than other container market segments.
The coming year will be exciting for logistics and supply chain companies as online orders and deliveries are likely to increase as people learn to live with the pandemic. Companies will continue to innovate and newer technologies will make this space much more interesting.