The festive season puts an enormous amount of additional pressure on supply chains and logistics. So much so that the likes of Argos have opened new fulfilment centres to keep up with the swarm of expected same day deliveries, whilst ASOS has gone even further by planning to be the first in the UK to offer same-day-returns, just in time for Christmas. This will be ground-breaking for consumers, who will be able to book, via the retailer’s app, collection of unwanted items at a time and place that suits them. In order for retailers to optimise their supply chain strategies, a lot of planning and investment has been put into these new initiatives to ensure they can actually deliver on their promises.
As online shopping, or e-commerce, becomes an ever-growing piece of holiday retail sales, so, too, does the commensurate returns, or, reverse logistics, activity. That outlook becomes even more clear, when considering that retailers’ efficiency in limiting and handling returns bought online could be as much as $32 billion in 2017, according to recent research published by industrial real estate firm CBRE.
Barely a week goes by without a new development in the world of autonomous vehicles. The technology is accelerating at an amazing pace, and vehicles have already hit the roads.
Drones, robots, online marketplaces, digital forwarding, enterprise technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and analytics — not since the dawn of the dot-com era has the business-to-business sector been flooded with so many technology models that promise to be transformative for transportation and logistics providers.
Today, the biggest challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers competing in the e-commerce space is speed of delivery.
The U.S. retail industry will have winners and losers in 2018, but third-party logistics (3PL) operators and the industrial sector will be on the winner list.
If 2017 was the year of the retail apocalypse, then 2018 could be the year of a retail renaissance. The signs are promising. Retailers have come through a time of trial, and many of the ones that have survived have made the necessary adjustments to align with evolving consumer needs and desires. While there will continue to be more retail closures in 2018, it’s unlikely we will see anything near the fallout that 2017 brought.
As we spin towards the third decade or the Neo-Millennium as I call it; logistics professionals will see changes to the face of transportation un-conceived of 20 years ago. The way we physically handle cargo will go hand in hand with technology to further guide freight movement.
It’s a digital-first world, and to keep up with the current industry pace, retail must be prepared to innovate. Innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) commerce, robotics and 3D printing have impacted all elements of the retail industry.
The holiday season is here. Vacation plans have been made, the kids are home from school, families and friends get together and more consumer goods will be purchased during these few weeks than at any other point during the year. According to PwC, Canadians will spend an average of $1,500 during the holidays, with gifts accounting for more than 40 per cent of that figure.
Rolls-Royce, one of the world's biggest aero-engine manufacturers, has launched R2 Data Labs, an organisation that it describes as "an acceleration hub for data innovation".
The Lab will use big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the company claims, to improve internal efficiency, as well as helping to create new services that it can offer to customers.