With the first choice for purchasing consumer goods tends to be from online retailers with cheaper prices, the one thing that gives many people pause is the immediacy of need. Able to wait a week for your package to arrive? No problem. But when someone needs a purchase today, their business usually goes to physical retailers.
Or maybe not. Online retailers and package carriers show a growing interest in “same day service.” With many online retailers utilizing more and more automation techniques, such as warehouse robots, a change in the supply chain could have an influence on the automation industries.
Get ready to say goodbye to the supply chain as we know it
by Mitch Mac Donald
As for what the future holds, Forrester predicts that online sales, which hit $200 billion in 2011, will grow 60 percent over the next five years. Business-to-consumer transactions already make up more than 40 percent of all parcel traffic, a ratio that’s bound to increase.
Given these trends, it seems clear the supply chain of 2020 will look radically different than it does today. Truckload carriers will be running at less-than-truckload distances. Multiple air and ground hubs will spring up. Warehouses and DCs will be designed and located strictly with the direct-to-consumer model in mind, and they will operate in round-the-clock-mode with robots breaking down pallets into small shipments at a pace manual labor can’t match. Regional parcel carriers who’ve long labored in the shadow of UPS and FedEx will thrive as demand spikes for the short-haul, flexible delivery services that are their specialty. And there will be new job opportunities as shippers, carriers, third parties, and warehouses create high-level positions dedicated to running e-commerce.
Most, if not all, of the strategy and execution will be aimed at satisfying a new class of power broker: the end user.
Read the full article here at DC Velocity. What are your predictions for how the supply chain will evolve? How will this effect the automation industries?