‘Social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ are, unfortunately, new terms that are now a fact of everyday life as increasingly countries fight to limit the severity of COVID-19. Last mile logistics has never been more important as more people must rely on it for the delivery of essential supplies, including food and medicines.
With non-essential stores closed in many countries while others limit their hours, manufacturers and retailers are facing a tough time as people self-isolate. Online retail is proving to be an essential solution for retailers and customers alike, but it is placing the supply chain under enormous strain. Nowadays, people are unused to waiting long for any products, but the increase in demand is a massive shock that is felt worldwide. In the short term, logistics operations are working flat out to provide solutions. In the longer term the effects could be significant and may change the face of e-commerce.
Before COVID-19, more consumers were placing orders online, hence the growing importance of last mile logistics Over the past few year’s consumer demand has consistently outpaced expectations, driven partly by modernizing supply chains and e-commerce. However, it still only accounted for a little over 10% of all retail sales in the US last year. Once we come through the COVID-19 crisis, a considerable percentage of these consumers may change their shopping behaviour more permanently, and shopping online will become their new normal.
Before the crisis, businesses were seeing good momentum. The need to restock inventory and reacceleration of e-commerce is expected to continue to drive long-term demand for logistics solutions. In the future, it is highly likely the level of e-commerce penetration will be higher than before. However, the potential for increased momentum relies on satisfying consumer demands and finding solutions for that all-important last mile delivery.
The current increased demand relentlessly exposes any supply chain weaknesses, and companies will be looking at how to improve and strengthen these supply chains moving forward. Already, supply chains are increasingly automated, completing tasks more efficiently and more safely than humans.
This is where our software solutions can help. MagicLogic BlackBox optimizer is easy to integrate, selecting boxes and finding optimal fill for e-fulfilment in real-time. There is a separate optimization engine specifically developed for mixed palletization using robotics or manual pack stations. Mixed palletization has pallet stability as its main goal, achieving maximum stability with minimal loss to fill quality.
Contact MagicLogic to discuss how we can help strengthen your supply chain with our advanced optimization software solutions.