With the opportunity for so much online revenue at stake, it’s critical to delight consumers with optimized ecommerce packaging that delivers products without damage. Packaging enhancements need to go beyond functionality, using materials that can be reused or recycled. This is good for the business and the environment, and increasingly attractive to consumers.
Ecommerce fulfillment software firm Flowspace is using generative AI and machine learning technology to streamline transportation and freight management processes, automate workflows and increase the visibility into the status of inbound and outbound shipments. FlowspaceAI for Freight uses GenAI and machine learning to read and interpret emails and determine the status of each shipment.
There are fewer mega warehouses of 1 million square-feet-plus going up, tracking with reduced demand in retail and ecommerce and the challenged economy, according to CBRE, while smaller facilities in strategic locations near population centers are in short supply. Ecommerce companies accounted for seven of the top 100 deals from January through June, down 50% from 14 in 2022.
Two separate reports paint a portrait of the once-robust e-grocery market continuing to face challenges, one that has never been the same since the pandemic lockdowns lifted and consumers returned to physical stores en masse for everyday essentials. It goes against rosy predictions of hockey-stick growth from three years ago, even though gains have mostly held.
Logistics experts had mostly positive reactions to Amazon Hub Delivery, the company’s latest last-mile move which enlists local businesses to earn extra money by making nearby deliveries in their spare time. Amazon is hoping to have 2,300 businesses recruited by the end of 2023 as it builds scale. Most saw it as a more economical option than the DSP model, giving Amazon more control.
A recent trend in ecommerce network design supports a strategy of “getting product closer to the customer,” a more efficient model that delivers on service-level promises. Then came COVID-19, upending everything and accelerating the pace of change in inventory and supply chain strategy, in turn affecting network design. Retailers and analysts discuss the current state and where it’s headed.
Mexico and Canada are seeing an increase in manufacturing and shipping to the U.S. as nearshoring takes hold in the face of uncertainty over trade with China and more businesses adopt a “plus one” strategy regarding the country’s largest trading partner, maintaining their base while diversifying their sourcing strategy. Inbound freight from Mexico outstripped China by 15%, while Canada was 5% higher.
MyFBAPrep, one of several companies brokering warehouse space and fulfillment services between shippers and 3PLs, has expanded its network from 15 million to 85 million square feet in the past four years to meet demand, increasing coverage in the UK, Germany, Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S. Expansion to Australia is on the company’s roadmap as well.
Preparing for peak season volumes in DTC fulfillment requires not only cooperation among partners but scheduling stress tests, ensuring sufficient server capacity and nailing down carrier commitments well in advance, attendees were told during a panel discussion at Home Delivery World in Philadelphia.
More than 80 delivery drivers and dispatchers for an Amazon contractor who just joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in April have initiated the first strike against Amazon at a hub in Palmdale, CA, saying the company needs to address wages and working conditions. Amazon begs to differ, saying it terminated the contract with the DSP, and that the Teamsters are making up facts.