E-commerce refers to the process of buying and selling goods and services over the internet. That is the simple part, but it’s an incredibly complex process that requires logistics expertise and efficiency. Yes, it has come to represent a vital alternative to brick-and-mortar store shopping, and some businesses have opted to have both while others choose to remain strictly virtual with their services. The increasing demand for products has made e-commerce shippers rely more heavily than ever on outside assistance for logistical management and forwarding assistance. With everything from food and clothes to electronics and toys to tickets and more being available online, e-commerce platforms and websites represent the future of the modern economy. And it’s important to under why e-commerce is on the rise, how forwarders can help, and the benefits of outsourcing e-commerce logistics.
Why E-Commerce Is on the Rise
As highlighted in a report by Material Handling & Logistics, the average retail e‐commerce sales for the second quarter of 2020 hit $211.5 billion, mainly due to the COVID‐19 driven increase in virtual sales. E-commerce sales rose an estimated 31.8% from the first quarter of 2020 and a staggering 44.5% from the second quarter of 2019. E‐commerce now makes up nearly a quarter of retail sales in the United States and shows no sign of slowing. As e-commerce continues to rise in popularity, the need for freight collaboration platforms and websites to coordinate will continue to rise as well. Ultimately, people realized the benefits of convenience and increased efficiency that comes with e-commerce because of the disruptions of 2020 and 2021.
Why Forwarders and E-Commerce Shippers Must Adapt to This New Normal
One of the most significant factors driving increased e-commerce focus for forwarders and shippers is the need for improved shipping options and personalized delivery services. Customers increasingly seek out businesses that offer same-day shipping, and the expectation of free shipping options also remains high. With increased e-commerce service making it faster and easier to order goods online, shippers must adapt to the demand. And partnering with forwarders and other third parties can help e-commerce shippers make the most of the growing economy and market.
Another demand changing the way shippers and forwarders in the industry respond is order returns. Customers embrace e-commerce trends because it is fast and convenient to buy and return goods when necessary. Keeping the forward and reverse flow of the supply chain moving as smoothly as possible takes a collaborative effort from freight forwarders and shippers alike.
How Air and Ocean Freight Forwarders Are Helping With Imports?
The pandemic forced retailers and customers to shift their focus and adjust their practices to accommodate supply chain disruptions. Now, as restrictions lift and things get back to normal, many businesses and customers are finding the benefits of e-commerce shopping worth hanging onto post-pandemic. With a long-term plan needed, many shippers are finding themselves in need of additional support and assistance. Collaboration between ocean freight forwarders and air cargo forwarders or carriers makes it easier than ever to fulfill rising needs and demands. These trends and collaborative efforts make it easier for e-commerce shippers to manage imports and deliver shipments on time. Additionally, the balance between air and ocean can help shippers account for urgent orders while still leveraging the cost-effective and frankly, less expensive, use of ocean transport too. These forwarders also serve a vital role in reducing confusion or delays in customs processing by pre-clearing cargo and helping shippers reliably know when freight will arrive despite customs risks.
Benefits of Outsourcing to Forwarders For E-Commerce Shippers
By outsourcing loads and collaborating with forwarders to handle logistics and freight capacity procurement, shippers, as well as customers and every other team member involved in the process, can enjoy critical benefits, including:
- Improved customer service relations and services.
- Faster and more accurate supply chain communication.
- Transparency from end-to-end throughout the supply chain.
- Improved ability to successfully manage and source more inventory.
- Advanced tracking and monitoring options for shipments.
- Cost reduction, fewer fees, less overhead, and lower surcharges.
- Lowered fuel usage and reduced waste throughout the supply chain.
- More streamlined approach to digital freight forwarding as a whole.
Faster, Cheaper, and More Efficient E-Commerce Shippers Use Technology
All these factors call for new standards and goals for e-commerce freight forwarding. By partnering with experts in e-commerce, freight forwarding, and transportation services, capitalizing on opportunities and maximizing profits stays easier than ever. Request a demo of Cargologik to learn more about why e-commerce shippers outsource forwarding services and how they can help take your brand to the next level.