What does eCommerce logistics look like as we reach the midpoint of 2016? Between 2011 and 2012, eCommerce logistics grew to reach 5 percent of all retail operations, and it’s now the main driver of small package logistics. With small packages accounting for $82.2 billion of the overall logistics industry and growing, an increase in the number and diversity of incoming orders is spurring a higher demand for new warehouses and maximizing the efficiency of existing ones.
Better inventory management is one of the easiest ways to boost a warehouse’s efficiency. Changing the internal layout of warehouses can make it easier for employees to access a broad range of products and travel the shortest distances, and picking procedures and advanced software systems are now being used to identify the optimal sequence in which to pick items for a particular order.
Analytics, Warehouse Overhauls Boosting Efficiency
Some warehouses are taking the approach of keeping a wide variety of products in a small area of the warehouse. By minimizing the distance between the bins and the packages, workers can pick more products. Robotics are also being used to speed things along and help warehouses ship as many packages as possible.
Analytics are also proving useful in helping shippers and warehouses calculate the fastest routes to bring products to customers. Actual transportation is only one part of the equation; where distribution centers are situated will also have a big impact on how fast products get from the warehouse to the customer. This is vital in an era where consumers expect quick delivery, free shipping and trouble-free returns.
Localized regional centers are being used to serve certain markets, but it’s not something that can be done for every single order because small package shipping can be expensive and labor-intensive. This is one area where 3PLs can provide a big advantage.
As eCommerce logistics continues to grow, technological advancements are likely to drive forward new innovations and bring efficiency to higher levels than ever.
This blog post was based off an article from Cerasis. View the original here.