Luckily, today’s manufacturers and distributors now have LTL E-Commerce logistics solutions that they can rely on. The key is the very thing that has driven the rise of online shopping – better technology. Today, Cerasis is a leader in Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping and freight management and utilizes powerful technology and apps to help create a better way to manage E-Commerce shipping solutions.
In the spirit of educating more industrial manufacturing companies and distribution companies who are more apt to shipping LTL about e-commerce, Cerasis brings you the e-commerce logistics white paper which you can download below.
In this white paper you will learn:
E-Commerce has changed the very face of how businesses sell products and how consumers buy them. Consider the numbers:
But what is often overlooked is the fact that the very logistics involved in E-Commerce are often more complex than most realize. Shipping items to their destination can become very expensive, and managing supply chains and logistics involved in E-Commerce has often been difficult.
Let us know if you have any questions about e-commerce logistics by commenting below!
This post is the first in an extensive 7 post series on all things e-commerce logistics as we head to the Magento Imagine Conference in Last Vegas the week of May 12th with our affiliate partners, WebShopApps, to showcase our partnership whereby we offer an end-to-end less than truckload freight e-commerce logistics management application for Magento shopping carts. At the conference, our plan is to support WebShopApps as they announce some new initiatives and new programs looking to continue their quest to help merchants with better eCommerce shipping extensions and applications.
Cerasis and WebShopApps have helped many freight shippers, who are better suited to ship via less than truckload vs. small package, to create e-commerce logistics solutions.
Over the next week we will cover the evolution of e-commerce logistics and how supply chains have changed, what options you have for charging your customers freight costs when setting up a new online store, the rise of eCommerce by manufacturers, distribution companies, and the industrial space, the role of reverse logistics in e-commerce, and conclude with the coverage on the role of e-commerce in a multi and omni-channel world.
In developed economies, e-commerce logistics represents the latest big driver of change in logistics and physical distribution networks, which have evolved substantially over the past 40 years or so. Currently, it remains the case that as e-commerce continues to grow, most shippers, particularly multi-channel shippers, are still only just beginning to work out what this will entail for their distribution network infrastructures.
From a distribution property perspective, this evolution has passed through various general phases and very broadly in the timeline as follows:
In developed economies the growth of online retail has been stronger in sectors such as fashion, electrical and ICT goods, as opposed to food.
In the former, where purchased items are typically distributed via a postal, parcel or freight network, e-commerce logistics models have led to a wave of new demand for four distinct types of logistics functions:
These types of e-commerce logistics systems, based on the above considerations, ensure the following benefits to shippers, customers, and 3PL service providers:
We will go further into the benefits of setting up an effective e-logistics structure and operation in this ongoing series. However, these are the top things to consider when looking to set up a program.
It’s been close to 19 years since Jeff Bezos opened his online bookstore from a 400-square foot garage in Seattle. Today, Amazon is one of the largest companies in America, with operations across the world and a stock valuation greater than most Fortune 500 companies. The concept, initially, was simple: to do business exclusively online, offering customers the convenience of shopping from home and giving the seller little overhead costs.
Since ecommerce was born, everything has changed: the proliferation of the Internet into daily life; the look and feel of the online space; the speed of internet connections; even who is getting online and how they’re getting there! Convenience and low prices were the driving forces for ecommerce in the early days. But today, with ecommerce retailers catering to every kind of product, service, and shopping experience, the challenge has shifted. Here is a brief look at how direct-to-consumer order fulfillment has evolved over the years to match those challenges.
So, How have Supply Chains Evolved in an E-Commerce Logistics World?
Then: Supply chains handled old-school, brick and mortar retail, where products arrived in warehouses in bulk, were moved around in pallets and selected by the case, and were shipped out to store in bulk.
Now: Ecommerce poses the unique challenge of inventory arriving in bulk, but requires much care from there – receiving bulk orders, then inventorying and picking those SKUs as individual products. Therefore, ecommerce retailers have to find a way to standardize and synchronize business processes to have real-time access and insight to inventory movement. Often, with dozens of suppliers, multiple warehouses, and an extensive number of sales channels, the chances of a misplaced order are much higher.
However, order fulfillment technologies have helped integrate the front-end and back-end of online retail. The back-end process is now a collaborative effort thanks to automated software and real-time fulfillment data. The alignment of important touch-points in the supply chain has reduced inefficiencies and had helped identify redundant processes. Heck, we even have robots that will pick inventory for us AND move it around the warehouse!
Then: In the early days of e-commerce, it was about the convenience of ordering a product from home. No driving to the mall and no waiting in line, just living life and waiting for the package to be delivered to your doorstep. Shippers still used snail mail and phone calls to communicate with customers and order delivery times were in the weeks, not days. Free shipping quickly became a tool that brought in competitors’ customers, since there weren’t many carrier options, no additional costs (such as sales tax) existed, and order delivery times were slow anyway.
Now: E-commerce merchants collect sales tax, fuel charges are much higher, and the ever-popular free shipping is the farthest thing from free to retailers. Other than giants like Amazon, not many retailers have the resources to operate multiple distribution centers in strategic locations and instead are turning to third party logistics service providers to reach their customers.
The evolution of multiple shipping options allowing customers more control over the delivery process than ever before, expanding from only small package from USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex to now get larger items via less than truckload modes.
It’s no longer about being the fastest rat in the e-commerce delivery race. Instead, it is about being able to deliver an order at a time frame and price point that customers want.
How has e-commerce logistics had any impact on your business? Let us know in the comments below.
Stay tuned over the next week for more on the world of e-commerce logistics.
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