By Tompkins International Staff
Consumer buying patterns are changing at a rapid pace and creating new challenges for today's logistics service providers (LSPs). Online buying and three-day/same-day delivery requirements are pushing retailers and consumer product companies to engage their LSPs in new services.
Gone are the days of B2B pallet picks and deliveries to retailer warehouses. Shippers want to maintain a single LSP, but want them to support the requirements of both B2B and B2C. Multichannel distribution is defined as using multichannel distribution systems to reach the same customers in different buying situations. It can also be used to reach multiple market segments. In addition, new fulfillment strategies are also being developed to support multichannel distribution.
As multichannel distribution picks up speed, we are seeing several hot trends emerge in the LSP industry:
- Traditional B2B enterprises are jumping into the market and becoming a larger part of the fulfillment world.
- Many astute marketers from both B2B and B2C now consider fulfillment to be just as important as any other component of a marketing initiative.
- Global e-commerce sales may reach $1 trillion next year, growing at a rate of 19.4% annually. To handle that demand, a global business-to-doorstep (B2D) supply chain is growing at breakneck speed. Its goal is to meet every need related to packages, logistics, fulfillment, payment, enterprise resource planning (ERP), radio-frequency ID (RFID), and reverse logistics.
- Companies like eBay and Ingram Micro are acquiring fulfillment arms to further develop their capabilities.
Traditional B2B Is Shifting to B2C
As B2C grows, contract logistics arms of integrators are now owning their networks. They are also growing click-and-collect locations, as well as making deliveries to consumer homes.
Traditional B2B LSPs are now moving into B2C with existing customers. Alternatively, they are also choosing to establish fulfillment centers for B2C-only business, or segmenting warehouses for B2C work for the same customer.
The industry is also experiencing new adapting technology to support fulfillment and an increase in value-added service offerings such as product kitting, gift wrap and personal greetings, and special labeling.
The team of experts at Tompkins International supports both shippers and LSPs in developing supply chain/multichannel distribution strategies through to full implementation. Our goal is to help shippers and LSPs be the forerunners in their respective markets. Contact us for more information and to learn how we can help your organization grow.