Logistics trends to watch in 2020
As we move not only into a new year but a new decade, the world of logistics and transportation is guaranteed to explode with even more growth. Just what that growth looks like and how it will take shape remains to be seen, but we are taking this week’s blog—the final blog of 2019—to share what we think will take place.
Growth-related HR concerns
Logistics companies are in a continual hiring phase as the demand grows and the truck driver shortage continues to be an issue. For companies like ours, which is growing but still a small business, there has not been a need for an official, internal human resources department. Each area of the business manages onboarding employees and providing the proper training.
Now that companies like ours are hiring more people, the fact that several people are touching the hiring and onboarding process can make it easier to drop the proverbial ball. We proactively put systems in place to combat that, but it remains a concern.
Also, finding the right kind of qualified employees to drive will continue to be a challenge. If some of the larger retailers continue to have stringent requirements for who handles their freight, the ability to find enough drivers in a low-unemployment economy will continue to be a struggle.
New logistics networks emerging
For many years, the big retailers like Amazon and the big shipping companies like FedEx have relied on partnering with smaller, more regional logistics companies to move their freight from point to point. As e-commerce continues to rise, and as the need for more regional distribution points becomes paramount, we are going to see a rise in the big companies trying to internalize these operations. This may cut companies like us out of the network in the beginning, but we see it as an opportunity for smaller, regional companies to create our own networks with each other. This will open doors for small retailers to join the last mile delivery fray.
Changing fleet vehicles
It used to be that trucks didn’t leave a warehouse until they were full. With the demand for even faster service, most trucks carry LTL, which stands for Less Than Load. The industry has responded by moving towards purchasing a larger number of trucks, but the vehicles are much smaller. This allows us to be more agile, lower gas mileage, and get to more places.
Same-day delivery going small
Small businesses are always trying to find ways that they can compete with the big guys. One way is through offering same-day delivery. With a local market, a small company can hire a local or regional delivery company to deliver their goods from groceries to gifts. We’re already seeing this locally with both Walmart and Harps starting to offer delivery. We predict that more boutiques will start offering same-day delivery using local courier services.
Rethinking the pressure
The race to get e-commerce business has meant that competitors keep upping their game. They’ve gone from two-day delivery to one-day delivery and, in some places, even promised delivery in a few hours. We’ve said it before, and we will say it again. The current supply chain cannot handle this much pressure if it continues to grow. It is wiser to under promise and over deliver instead of promising the moon and falling short of that because of delays along the delivery path. Giants like Amazon are already offering digital discounts if you choose to have a longer delivery time. We would rather see more reliable but slower service than trying to set unreasonable standards that turn out badly for everyone involved.
Your logistics partner
As the industry grows, so do our capabilities. We just opened a new facility in central Northwest Arkansas and have plans to expand in that location. We also continue to grow at our Little Rock location. As you move into the new year and new decade, we hope you won’t let yourself be left behind. Let’s chat about how our trusted delivery and courier services can help you stay in the game.