As we enter 2023, the global logistics ecosystem is staring at an exciting phase of ascendency. The world is inching toward normalcy, and consumers worldwide are showing tremendous interest in shopping online.
Recent predictions show that retail ecommerce sales worldwide will reach a mammoth $6.3 trillion in 2023, compared to $5.7 trillion in 2022.
As a result, the logistics industry, especially the last mile, has become a critical aspect for businesses to focus on.
Lightning delivery speeds, rising customer expectations, and seamless fulfillment functionality have now become foundations of delivering customer delight, which is every business’ ultimate goal.
That said, here are five key predictions that are likely to create a positive impact on the growth of the global logistics industry in 2023:
Driver empowerment will be the central theme in 2023
The pressure on drivers will continue in 2023 as the number of orders for home delivery will increase, and finding qualified drivers remains an issue in some regions.
Recent estimates state that global parcel volume is expected to double from the pre-pandemic level i.e., from 104 billion parcels in 2019 to 205 billion in 2024. While finding qualified drivers in regions like North America has become a challenge, in some other regions like South East Asia and India, poor roads, traffic jams, and the absence of detailed maps are increasing drivers’ stress.
Going into 2023, we can expect logistics companies to give more attention to the need for driver empowerment, as happy drivers can only ensure customers’ delight.
Investments in last-mile logistics technology solutions will continue
Excellence in the last mile has become critical for logistics amid rapidly evolving customer expectations.
Logistics companies are expected to continue to invest more in last-mile logistics solutions powered by the latest technologies like advanced analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
In addition, we expect more companies to invest in software that can automate a large chunk of fulfillment processes for them, like dispatch and capacity management, route optimisation, etc., and in integrated technology solutions such as delivery-linked checkout that enable them to achieve profitability while delivering better customer experiences.
Sustainability in last-mile delivery is no more an option, but a necessity
Sustainability will no longer be just a buzzword. It has become a necessity for the logistics sector, which is one of the most significant contributors to global CO2 emissions.
There has also been a global regulatory push to bring down emission levels. For instance, a recent regulation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to include climate-related disclosures in their annual report.
In 2023, it is expected that more logistics companies will focus on means to move goods at a reasonable cost and with minimum environmental impact.
Omnichannel retailing will become omnipresent
With brands focusing on last-mile excellence, omnichannel retailing is becoming one of the most-favored ecommerce strategies across the world. Omnichannel retailing allows brands to integrate all available channels to provide a seamless shopping experience to customers.
In 2023, we can expect brands to invest more in acquiring omnichannel capabilities. As an omnichannel strategy improves delivery control, speed, flexibility, and cost, it will significantly enhance last-mile logistics.
D2C platforms will invest more in last-mile excellence
The Direct to Consumer (D2C) ecommerce model is helping brands increase their customer base. As the D2C model enables better pricing, free deliveries, and returns, consumers are more inclined to purchase such brands.
It is estimated that in 2022, around 64% of consumers made regular purchases directly from brands. In 2023, more D2C brands will invest in last-mile delivery logistics to close the gaps between warehouses and consumers’ doorsteps.
The global logistics industry has always displayed immense resilience during daunting times. In the New Year, the logistics industry is brimming with new possibilities and is expected to play a critical role in driving the growth of global commerce.
Businesses adapting to these trends and developing effective last-mile logistics strategies will be well positioned to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment.
With the right plan in place and technology support, brands can create a competitive edge in their space and emerge as the market leaders of tomorrow.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
Edited by Teja Lele