As we head into 2020, it’s a good time to look at some of the noteworthy highlights from the past year in the small parcel shipping industry.
It continues to be a time of great change for the industry, with the growth of technology and ecommerce both having a big impact. Those things, coupled with Amazon continuing to aggressively build out its own delivery infrastructure, continues to make it very interesting for shippers and logistics companies.
The following are seven top stories that are impacting small parcel shipping in 2019 and beyond.
The Big Two Carriers, or Is It Three Now?
As we noted in our recently published analysis of the UPS 2020 GRI, the carrier is taking steps to align itself more with the USPS with its SurePost delivery service. This is no doubt a positioning move focused on what Amazon is doing. Read: Breaking Down the 2020 UPS GRI to Understand the Impact to Your Parcel Shipping Costs.
FedEx is also taking steps to prepare for what Amazon is up to with a specific decision to not renew some of its contracts with the customer. Read: FedEx split with Amazon continues as Ground contract won’t be renewed.
And of course, Amazon is moving forward with its plans to become a logistics provider and compete with the big two. Read: Amazon Is Building a Delivery Service to Rival UPS and FedEx.
How Customers Get Their Deliveries Is Changing, Too
In-store pick up is growing in popularity with consumers, with many retailers looking to offer faster ways for customers to order online and get the products they want. In-store fulfillment saves on many of the inventory management and shipping costs of managing fulfillment from centrally located fulfillment centers. Read: For a fast supply chain, Target is betting on in-store fulfillment.
A trend that we identified back in 2018 is continuing, with many retailers and manufacturers saving money and benefiting from faster transit times with regional small parcel carriers. Read (page 8): Can Your Lower Your Parcel Shipping Costs With a Regional Carrier?
Of course, new technology for HOW deliveries are made continues to develop. Delivery robots and drones are coming! Read: Thousands of autonomous delivery robots are about to descend on US college campuses and Watch: Drone Delivery Around the World.
It’s safe to say the small parcel industry is changing faster than ever due to changes in customer demand, competition, and technology. As a shipper, it’s important to remain diligent in understanding how your options (and costs) for delivery are evolving. Here’s to a fun and interesting 2020 in the small parcel shipping industry!