Estimates from the 2013 holiday season suggest that 33-40% of seasonal shopping was done online. While the numbers for the rest of the year are not nearly that high, online shopping is clearly growing at an unstoppable rate.
But I bet you are wondering why I am still talking about last year’s holiday season—in April? It’s because holiday 2013 was all about final mile delivery, and a number of issues suggest that the transportation industry’s innovation is about to be tested in final mile delivery.
Manufacturers are increasingly selling their products direct-to-consumer, which means more companies are looking for specialized transportation services. The online grocery business is also becoming more popular. But there is a problem (or challenge): the traditional parcel delivery model limits these trends from growing.
In order to keep online retail sales on the rise, companies need networks that can deliver packages to a variety of different mediums. From lockers at convenience stores, to the grocery store for customer pick-up, the transportation industry will need to showcase its ability to reroute packages to new locales or change delivery times if needed. Companies like FedEx and UPS have already begun strong marketing campaigns around this, and it’s critical that shippers also jump on board in the coming months. This is going to be a huge game-changer.
There are other game-changers for 2014-15 as well. Explore this and other hot transportation trends by downloading Trends in the Transportation Industry, a new thought-provoking report by Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium.
And I’d enjoy hearing about your transportation challenges. How are your operations being tested by final mile delivery?