Shopping for goods online has become an almost daily part of our lives. According to the latest figures from the Centre for Retail Research, online sales in the UK grew 16.2% in 2015 to reach a total of £52.25bn. There are more parcels being shipped around the world than at any other point in history, and the numbers just keep going up. Here’s a little insight into what goes into this often taken for granted part of our lives.
Traditional Shipping Methods
Shipping by boat is one of the oldest forms of transportation in the logistics industry. While it’s rare for consumers to receive goods directly from sea freight now, it is still a key part of any large corporation’s logistics strategy. Shanghai, the world’s busiest port city, deals with over thirty million individual containers a year carrying over 736m tonnes of goods. Compared to the city’s airport, which is also one of the busiest airports by cargo traffic, which moved nearly 1.6 million tonnes of air cargo last year, we can see how crucial sea freight still is to the industry.
New Developments in the Industry
One of the major changes to the logistics industry in recent years has been the increasing popularity of independent, self-employed drivers delivering goods. This has allowed many businesses to cut down on their delivery costs and then pass on these savings to the consumer to create more compelling products. Not only do large courier companies like TNT occasionally employ these drivers to deliver their goods, but independent drivers can also find jobs on websites like selfemployedcourier.net. This can be a great way to earn extra cash for those that find themselves already planning a long journey.
How Technology Is Improving Services
As you might imagine, new developments in the industry are ongoing, too, thanks to the advent of modern technology. Even technology originally intended for military use could soon be a regular sight in the near future, with Amazon showcasing its own same-day, drone-based delivery service. By taking advantage of the GPS technology inside customer’s smartphones, the company hopes that they’ll be able to eliminate the so-called “last-mile problem.” The final step in the delivery change is often the least economical, as couriers have to travel into congested urban areas or reschedule appointments for missed deliveries.