The challenges of national logistics in the next 5 years are particularly inviting and represent a challenge that will attract diverse investment and expertise in this sector. Some of the most influential industry journals have conducted surveys to rank the currently predictable trends, let’s see together what they are all about.
First of all, the growth of e-commerce will lead to a very high demand for deliveries to individuals and related services. Large e-tailers have organized with widely distributed lockers to obviate the need to serve large quantities of deliveries at the same time, but this trend cannot grow indefinitely. In Italy we have been witnessing diffusion for a number of years, and the catching up gap with the main European markets is now close to being completed.
The second aspect is the environmental sustainability of the industry: it has been in the crosshairs since delivery vans began to be widespread in cities as well as towns. Some large players have tested carbon-free deliveries with bicycles, pedal-powered tricycles, and recently electric vehicles, but all these solutions are still far from having a real impact in the delivery world. Couriers that can organize before others for a sustainable solution on large fleets will have a competitive advantage over competitors.
Third, it is necessary to consider the competition on delivery costs not only for domestic but especially for international shipments. The challengers have suffered a setback with Brexit and national laws that have curtailed the integration process of European markets, but a resumption of growth is inevitable. The challenge will be particularly evident not only on strictly understood deliveries but on related services; customer interactions with courier services will be increasingly profound and enable inventory reduction through front-end computerization of processes.
Labor costs remain as crucial an issue as they have been for some years now. The cost of fuel and issues related to the war in Ukraine have again brought to attention the unavoidable costs of couriers: personnel and fuel. Drivers’ rights are suffering the consequences of the quest for increased productivity; extensive computerization in this field has disrupted some of the paradigms valid just a few years ago.
Technological advancement understood as dissemination of innovations to all key players will be the guide that will lead to growth in service quality. Automation in large sorting centers, the adoption of artificial intelligence software for criticality management, the need for greater security along the value chain, and the spread of wearable technology (wearable devices) for drivers will lead to significant spending and a radical reconfiguration of strategies.
Of course, part of the challenge will depend on the regulation of the industry and how many services designed by start-ups are adopted-they are impossible to predict but the impact could be significant.
Against this backdrop of profound change, one fundamental paradigm that has transformed the industry in recent years will remain unchanged: tertiary warehouses (third-party logistics or 3PL) will continue to experience development dictated by their ability to fulfill the needs of businesses. Established about two decades ago as areas set up as warehouses and simply rented to outside customers, they have developed over time by providing a range of additional services that have made them irreplaceable. The technology component has taken hold in a big way and has allowed the industry to grow as a partner to manufacturing as well as distribution companies. Arcadia Express in this field has considerable experience in a variety of areas and because of its geographical location has the ability to support its clients in their daily challenges. Outsourcing the warehouse means being able to focus on the activity that actually creates value in businesses without having to deal with problems such as peak periods, stockpiling inventory, and loading/unloading.
What has become clear in recent years is that any event, even unthinkable ones, can radically change the competitiveness of companies, and being ready means having planned sound strategies not only to contain costs in the short term but especially in the long run. To carefully consider your choices in the area of warehouse management, contact us; we are available to provide a free consultation and propose the best solution for your reality.
Contact Arcadia Express, we are the most reliable partners for your business!