With the growing popularity of online shopping via Amazon, there has been increased pressure on other eCommerce websites and online retailers to provide a similar service, with fast (and often free) delivery. 

This has inevitably put increased pressure on logistics services, specifically as a result of the changing expectations of customers, and in particular an expectation of immediate fulfilment of online orders. As a result, next day or even same day deliveries have become more common. This may be a possibility for larger retailers, but many small businesses struggle to meet these requirements unless they use an external delivery service.

This has undoubtedly had an effect on traditional retailers and online retail stores. However, there has also been significant impact on the transport and logistics industry.

Optimisation of Delivery Routes

To meet the expectations of consumers, the transport and logistics industry has had to adapt their infrastructure. Whilst routes had traditionally been planned to reduce costs by transporting bulk loads wherever possible, this ‘groupage’ service is not designed to work with same day or fast turnaround. Even logistics businesses that already used a chain of touch points for deliveries would previously only have around 2-4 touch points. This is now is closer to 7-9 in order to speed up the delivery process by capitalising on warehouse, pallet and parcel networks.

Increased Use of Technology in Delivery Logistics

As part of the efforts to compete with Amazon, the logistics industry is increasingly investing in new technologies. New advancements in fleet tracking technology is designed to record and analyse driver speeds, fuel usage and even driving behaviour. By recording and assessing this data, businesses are able to optimise performance to improve the consumer shopping experience.

Whilst this shift in approach is hugely beneficial for the customer, there is also an impact on the requirements from HGV drivers. As technology becomes central to the logistics process, the emphasis on developing drivers’ skills to use this new equipment has also increased. More and more drivers are finding that they are receiving training for digital equipment that is being introduced to the industry. As a result, technological competency has become an important skill for drivers to demonstrate to businesses and recruiters.

Heightened Focus on Driving Efficiency

Much of this technology focuses on improving efficiency of the delivery process, reducing costs and delivery times wherever possible. The emerging technology is able to calculate the most efficient routes to reduce the wait for customers. Whether retail sales take place in physical stores or online, the turnaround for products that must be delivered has to be as short as possible.

The customer expectations produced by the Amazon effect are proving difficult to meet. The best way to do this is to introduce technologies designed to reduce costs and maximise output. The technology emerging focuses on this, tracking driver breaks, providing route estimations and accounting for fuel consumption throughout. As a result, every minute of a driver’s day is accounted for. This allows businesses to manage the expectations of the customer, whilst ensuring the safety of the drivers through adequate break allocations.

As brick and mortar retailers are becoming a thing of the past, online retail is growing rapidly. With this comes the requirement for logistics companies that are experts in same day and next day deliveries. Make sure that you have all of the skills required to become the perfect candidate for the next generation of logistics businesses.

Get in touch with the Drive Personnel team today

Drive Personnel are a highly experienced driver recruitment specialist for Southampton, specialising in Class 1 and 2 driver jobs in Southampton. To begin the search for your next driving job or to hire drivers for your business, contact us on: 023 8069 5600 or email info@drivepersonnel.co.uk

Our office is open 6am – 6pm, from Monday to Friday.

Drive Personnel is a specialist HGV driving agency in Southampton, providing temporary agency driving jobs to professional HGV drivers in Southampton and the surrounding areas.