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5 Ways e-Commerce is Redefining Material Handling Solutions

5 Ways e-Commerce is Redefining Material Handling Solutions

As president and CEO of FedEx, Henry Maier said, “[E-commerce] is bringing unparalleled and unprecedented growth and a landscape of continuing change.” E-commerce itself is continually pushing past its own limitations. The goal is to offer consumers a top-notch retail experience. That means supply chain operations must also constantly evolve to match the industry.

To remain competitive in this market, your supply chain logistics need to be on point. You must keep an eye out for the trends or ensure you have the material to operate efficiently.

We know a thing or two about material handling systems, so we’re stepping in. Here are five ways e-commerce is impacting the supply chain industry.

1. Decline of Industrial Vacancy

One of the most notable changes in this industry is the competition for industrial space. E-commerce fulfillment centers account for a majority of big-box transactions. For you, that means rental rates and other operating costs are expected to soar.

Luckily, as this market becomes more efficient, oversupply decreases. So, even if you anticipate large growth, it’s possible to avoid industrial development and other large overhead costs.

2. Need for Efficient Space

The e-commerce boom demands efficiency from warehouses and fulfillment centers. Not only must your procedures be well organized, but also your space. As always, you need high clearance for material handling systems and specialized equipment. But, also you need parking and truck doors for the increased volume of orders.

Backup generators and cross-dock configuration also assist with same-day delivery.

3. Free Shipping Isn’t Free

As you likely know, free shipping for your customers doesn’t mean its free to you. But, it is a huge push in getting products out the door. So, you need to consider how to make these efforts more sustainable. You need to do research on your market to figure out where the need for free shipping is.

Limit these opportunities when possible. It will come back and bite you if you work with retailers who try to negotiate too much on these terms.

4. Greater Need for Transporters

Demand for supply chain positions is expected to increase by 13 percent in the next 10 years. Don’t fret though—the workforce you’ll need is out there. But, oftentimes, the problem with this force is a lack of adequate training in their college programs. They want to be in management roles, leaving a huge gap for other necessary positions.

Specifically, there is a decline in the transportation segment. When onboarding new staff, you’ll need to ensure your candidates are well-trained across the board.

5. Shorter Lengths of Haul

To match quick delivery needs, you need to be where your customers are. Consequently, drivers tend to have much shorter trips, as there are others to cover space. But, there’s an increased need for delivery in these areas. Drivers are subject to much more stop-and-go action than they ever have been before.

For More on Material Handling Systems

As this industry continues to develop, you need to ensure you have the equipment to match. Your efforts need to be cutting-edge to deliver the best experience for customers.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current systems, you’re in the right place. At PFlow Industries, we offer the supply chain solutions you need. Contact us today to learn about our material handling systems and more!

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