The busiest ever online retail season has been predicted for this year and the warehousing, logistics and 3PL sector is under no illusion as to how critical it is to its success.
With the rules of life being an ever-changing commodity at the moment, businesses and people across the UK are becoming weary of adapting their business models and buying habits to suit and consumers need to be able to rely on the supply chain network more than ever to support the uplift in demand for groceries and other ecommerce.
A recent report by Barclay’s Corporate Banking showed that 15% of UK companies have created roles specifically to cater for an increase in online demand and that around 27% have, or are looking to shift their logistics providers to a more localised provider as the sectors prepare for a further uplift in demand in addition to the one that occurred earlier this year.
“This is a trend that we have seen at Carlton Forest 3PL and one that we expect to continue as the ecommerce market peaks in the run up to the festive period,” said Alistair Plant, Divisional Operations Manager, Carlton Forest 3PL. “Evidence show that these decisions are being made to drive supply chain efficiencies but also build strong relationships based on flexibility and professionalism with providers that can deliver bespoke solutions given that predictions are being made on little or no, historical data.”
Online sales are currently running at 50% higher than this time last year and predicted to grow even further as families separated at Christmas choose gifts online and opt to have them delivered direct. Indeed, it is expected that 71% of British customers will be reluctant to shop instore this Christmas and therefore, the flow of goods from production to storage to distribution will require laser sharp precision to fulfil customer expectations and protect brand reputations.
“It’s really important that the 3PL sector continues to meet customer and consumer expectations and that businesses are prepared for this predicted festive boom,” said Alistair. “And, with online grocery stats showing that 77% of UK customers do at least some of their grocery shopping online, the overall supply chain network in the UK will be under great demand to provide efficient services as we continue to navigate the unknown.”
Carlton Forest 3PL is renowned for its flexible, bespoke solutions covering all aspects of warehousing, logistics and supply chain.