3 sectors that need to optimize their logistics in e-commerce

Do you know the sectors with e-commerce potential that need to consolidate their logistics operations? Discover them in this list.

We are already familiar with one of the key events that has affected the economy and most of the known sectors on a large scale: the confinement and restrictions due to the pandemic. With the impossibility of opening dispensable physical stores and offering face-to-face services, both large and small companies have had to reinvent their models against the clock to circumvent and adapt to this scenario.

As a result, the e-commerce sector is one of the sectors that is gaining more and more relevance due to the changes that consumers have made in the face of this abrupt change in their habits and are now accustomed to this way of consuming. However, there are important sectors that are not progressing as much in the e-commerce section as expected despite the demand to offer this type of business.

If you want to know some of the sectors with e-commerce potential that need to mature their services, take a look!

Pharmacy

According to this study, more than 75% of patients prefer to use the services of a telepharmacy or receive their medicines at home instead of going to the pharmacy in person, with 9%. However, pharmaceutical e-commerce in Spain has only experienced a growth of 2% compared to other countries such as Italy and Germany, which have had a growth in turnover of 34% and 10% respectively.

This is because infrastructures still need to be improved to ensure data protection on the part of patients and to enable them to use these services at home. Despite this, the pharmaceutical sector has had very good communication in the supply chain to cope with the health crisis and ensure the supply of several drugs.

It is worth noting that one of the solutions that has potential in the face of occasional drug shortages is FarmaHelp, a digital platform that allows a pharmacy to notify and contact other nearby pharmacies when a drug is out of stock and there are supply problems so that the patient can receive it in time. 

ilustración del concepto de dropshipping amplio. sectores con potencial en el e-commerce

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Which route will get you to your customer first?

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One of the most important and, at the same time, tedious tasks to perform in a company with logistics and transportation is the calculation and planning of routes for a specific day or week. With the increasing number of challenges in the industry such as low-emission zones, high fuel prices and higher demands for satisfactory customer service, it is necessary to re-manage routes to adapt and become more efficient.

Para encontrar la ruta definitiva que hará llegar antes a tus clientes se deben de tener en cuenta varias características de las paradas, vehículos y restricciones, entre otras. Además de mantener una comunicación sólida ante cualquier incidente que pueda ocurrir, ya sea un factor interno o externo.

If you want to know the key factors for optimizing delivery routes and how to reach your customer faster, take a look!

Distances between delivery points

Entre los principales factores que se piensan primero cuando se habla de optimizar rutas de reparto son las distancias entre el centro logístico y los puntos de entrega. Además de que es más sencillo calcular una ruta concreta en cuanto echamos un vistazo a la proximidad entre varios puntos de entrega.

Generally, if other factors and constraints are not taken into account, one of the best routes is the one that starts with the stop closest to the warehouse. And then follows the second stop close to the first, and so on until you have finished with all orders and return to the logistics center.

However, a simple glance at delivery points can hide narrow and difficult to navigate last-mile streets that can significantly delay deliveries. Consequently, this factor is one of the first to be considered when creating a "sketch" route and then assigning drivers, vehicles and other constraints.

Delivery and staffing schedules

It is known that, with a number of batches or individual orders for a specific day, a delivery time zone is agreed with the users when calculating routes. However, these customers are increasingly requesting more precise time zones, according to their needs. Therefore, such orders must be assigned to the carrier with shifts and agreements that are compatible with the assigned time slot.

It should be noted that special attention must be paid to labor restrictions for carriers. For example, drivers are not allowed to work more than 6 hours at a time without a break in a day, so they must rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. If it is a very long route, the appropriate time slot would be assigned in accordance with the regulations and, if necessary, another carrier would be assigned to cover the shift. Not to be forgotten are the hours when loading and unloading is allowed in the cities or at the logistics center receiving the delivery.

Punto de entrega concepto abstracto ilustración vectorial. cómo llegar antes a tu cliente vector

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How vacations affect logistics and distribution

Worker loading a box onto a truck-vacation in the logistics vector

El verano ya está aquí y sin duda, es la época del año en la que la mayoría de la gente tiene y/o decide coger sus vacaciones. Se conocía que tiempo atrás gran parte de las empresas, incluidas con logística, cerraba por descanso del personal durante el mes de agosto, con la excepción de sectores … Read more

Hedyla en el e-Show de 2022

stand de Hedyla e-Show 2022

La semana pasada parte del equipo de Hedyla ha estado presente una vez más en el e-Show de 2022 que tuvo lugar en la Fira de Barcelona, en particular en el recinto de Montjuic. Este año se ha notado más afluencia que el año pasado gracias a la relajación de las restricciones de la pandemia. … Read more

What are the most sought-after professional profiles in logistics?

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Currently, the logistics and transportation sector is becoming quite relevant due to the growth of e-commerce. In addition to the fact that in Spain it is one of the most important sectors of the economy for having a GDP of 10% and managing more than 500 thousand shipments per year.

Looking at this panorama, it can be stated that it is an industry that employs more than 950,000 people, a very attractive figure for people who wish to start or change their professional career. But, specifically, what are the professional profiles in logistics, and is any specific training required to be able to exercise these professions?

If you are interested in knowing the details of the most in-demand logistics professional profiles, take a look!

Warehouse handler

Undoubtedly, this is the most sought-after profile in the logistics sector. Their tasks are based on assisting in the loading and unloading of trucks, checking and ordering merchandise, controlling the stock of products, preparing them and keeping the warehouse register up to date.

These professional logistics profiles require a minimum of compulsory secondary education. However, there are specialized training courses such as forklift or warehouse handler that help to have a solid foundation for the job performance and improve the curriculum. Not to mention the physical ability to move heavy objects from one place to another. cursos de formación especializados como la de carretillero o la de mozo de almacén que ayuda a tener una base sólida para el desempeño del trabajo y mejoran el currículum. Sin olvidar que se debe poseer la capacidad física para mover objetos pesados de un lugar a otro.

Forklift operator

The second most sought-after profile in the sector is the warehouse foreman. These are people who handle forklifts and are responsible for receiving, placing heavy packages on pallets and preparing orders and packaging.

Despite what the name suggests, the professional is not only focused on a specific task. In the case of forklift operators, they perform other complementary tasks such as reviewing delivery notes. In order to access this position, it is required to have passed the ESO and to undergo forklift training to be able to handle the machinery.

Delivery person

This is probably one of the professional logistics profiles that has gained much relevance in recent years due to the considerable growth of e-commerce. The delivery driver is in charge of getting the goods to their destination, as well as planning the most efficient schedules and routes. This task can be much easier if a route optimizer is used.

In addition to that, he also organizes the merchandise in his van and communicates directly with customers, having a certain profile of a salesman. To be able to work as such, you need a type B driver's license, own your own van and have all the documentation in order to be self-employed.

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Are urban hubs the solution to last mile challenges?

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With the increasing number of constraints within large cities and greater commitment to the environment, ways are being sought to circumvent these difficult challenges. Among several proposals to remain efficient in the last mile, urban hubs stand out.

Urban hubs are not much of a mystery, as they are small warehouses located in the centers of large cities. With this, they are expected to reduce route distances and also increase the capillarity of the last mile. If you want to know more about their other advantages, take a look!

Taking advantage of underutilized premises

One of the most prevalent problems in cities with respect to urban distribution is the increase in underutilized space that is unlikely to be re-let. Given the innovative nature of being an urban hub, re-using such spaces has many advantages.

However, for urban hubs to perform their function properly, they have to be located in strategic points of the city. Moreover, this may not be easy, as they require the rental of space in the center, which is a fairly high cost that not all companies in the sector can afford.

Helping to reduce carbon emissions

Undoubtedly, this is one of the main reasons why this initiative has started to be used in large cities. Reducing the miles needed to meet last-mile demand goes a long way toward reducing CO₂ emissions.

However, there are extra steps that need to be taken for pollution minimization to be effective. For example, the use of zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and the approach of making deliveries at night in order to reduce traffic congestion are being considered. Apart from the use of a route optimizer to save time and money.

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5 aspects to promote Competitive Sustainability

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Many companies in all types of sectors are already committing to more sustainable actions in their activities. However, it is not enough to want to be more environmentally friendly; we must also strive for competitive sustainability. In other words, actions and initiatives must be sufficiently competent and attractive for companies to start applying them.

This issue is very relevant for the logistics and transportation sector due to its relatively high environmental impact and the increase of vehicle restrictions in cities. Here are some competitive sustainability initiatives to make a difference:

Urban warehouses

If transportation costs are higher, the longer the distance to be traveled, the greater the outlay the company will have to make. One of the most effective solutions to this problem is urban warehousing. What is different from a conventional warehouse is that urban warehouses are located in or around large cities in order to be close to demand.

Notably, they have been a growing trend in the e-commerce sector and in any industry that requires last-mile delivery. While it is true that reducing distance reduces emissions, the supply chain would not be efficient if warehouse operations are not efficient either. Therefore, a picking optimizer can help streamline your urban warehouse.

Unify shipments

Tal y como se mencionó en el webinar de movilidad sostenible, no es ecológico comprar de 4 e-commerces distintos y que el envío lo efectúen 3 empresas de transporte diferentes para que lleguen a tu dirección a una hora similar. Por lo tanto, algunas empresas, sobre todo las grandes, han considerado otorgar la posibilidad de unificar los envíos.

That means that several shipping companies would have to agree on who does the shipping or give the consumer the option to choose the company itself. Such actions are currently very difficult for SMEs to carry out, unlike large companies such as Amazon, which already provide this possibility of applying competitive sustainability.

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4 Smart City initiatives that drive sustainable mobility

Ilustración vectorial del concepto de mensajero autónomo. movilidad sostenible Smart City

Currently, one of the issues we are most aware of and concerned about is global warming and measures to reduce its impact. Whether it is minimizing carbon emissions, eliminating plastic and opting for renewable energies, and among them is to achieve sustainable mobility.

One of the most important initiatives is to promote smart cities in cities. It consists of managing all the usual things that are taken into account in a city but adding the plus of sustainability.

Here are some examples of how to promote sustainable mobility applied to logistics:

Electric vehicles

Given the increasing traffic restrictions on distribution vehicles in terms of number allowed, length, capacity, vehicle model, level of congestion and other aspects, it is becoming increasingly common for companies to renew their vehicle fleet to pursue an ideal level of sustainable mobility.

Among the most notable changes are electric or hybrid trucks that significantly reduce CO₂ emissions and minimize noise pollution.

Some last mile companies have also opted for more unusual vehicles such as scooters and electric bicycles because of their ability to access difficult urban areas that even a van could not enter, thus considerably reducing the impact of the carbon footprint.

DUM monitoring and optimization

Given the increasing difficulties faced by last-mile distribution (LMP) due to the growth of large cities, the increase in traffic restrictions and the great momentum of e-commerce, solutions to these problems are becoming increasingly complex.

Among the initiatives to reduce these inconveniences, deliveries are made during off-peak hours to avoid congestion.

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How Santa carries out his logistics for Christmas

Retrato de hombre en Traje de Santa Claus - logística para Navidad

It is one of the most important times of the year and Santa Claus along with the heads of each department's help prepare well in advance their logistics for Christmas so that all the gifts arrive on time to their homes.

Looking at how demand has grown in recent years, it is no longer enough to manufacture and distribute toys with his sleigh alone. The logistical processes have become increasingly complex and demanding, so Santa Claus has an army of elves and reindeer ready to facilitate such complex logistics management for Christmas.

From raw materials

When Santa Claus has an idea in mind for a new toy, he works with the development department to get the product into production. He makes sure that the elves get the raw materials they need for manufacturing thanks to his good relationships with suppliers.

To fullfill this, the materials travel through a complicated network of logistics from the time they are mined for processing in a factory and so on until they reach the hands of the elves, who make the final product. In addition, their magical staff has a warehouse for all those goods used for the manufacture of toys.

Inventory storage

From raw materials to toys ready to be shipped, all this inventory must be stored in their respective warehouses. There all the items are packed, sorted and well ordered so that they can be easily located in a warehouse as big as Santa's.

Thanks to the latest technological advances, Santa Claus has not hesitated to automate the ordering systems and to optimize the stock databases in order to have total control over the inventory and avoid stock-outs.

Warehouse operating processes

When one of the thousands of warehouses Santa Claus has all over the world orders a certain amount of toys, the elves in charge of the warehouse get down to work. First they check the available stock, locate the order and pack it carefully so that the products are not damaged in transport. For this purpose, a picking optimizer is very helpful in locating inventory quickly.

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How to tackle Black Friday with last mile delivery

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Black Friday is the big event of the year when Christmas shopping comes early and last-mile delivery plays a key role. During 2020, more than 50 million shipments were recorded thanks to the e-commerce drive (Source: UNO Logística, 2020). Therefore, logistics companies expect this trend to continue to grow.

If last-mile delivery is a challenge for companies at other times of the year, at a time when shipments are skyrocketing, it will be even more evident. If you want to know how to prepare your capillary distribution for Black Friday, take a look at the following tips:

1. Prepare well in advance

Companies specializing in capillary logistics distribution have been preparing for months for the disproportionate increase in sales and possible saturation of the system. Everything that you organized 15 days or a month in advance will have to be structured twice as far in advance.

This is because the possible setbacks and errors that you may encounter in your planning will be easier to correct. Besides, you can continue adjusting the preparation as the trends of this Black Friday are known.

2. Analyze past exercises

It has already been mentioned above that the pandemic has driven e-commerce and, consequently, last-mile delivery to unexpected levels. But how has your logistics been affected during previous Black Fridays, and has your industry been impacted to a greater or lesser extent?

In order to clarify all these doubts, there is nothing better than looking at the logistics exercises of previous years. Has a noticeable or very gradual increase been detected? Are pick-up points being used more or do you prefer home delivery? With all this data, a rough estimate can be made of what will happen on Black Friday with last-mile delivery.

3. Make an estimate of delivery times based on actual capacity

Optimizing delivery routes alone is not enough to be able to deliver efficiently and on time. You must calculate the maximum delivery capacity to be able to match the amount of shipments affected by your customers due to Black Friday with the usual distribution volume.

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Optimizing Delivery Routes: 6 Strategies for Successful Delivery

Last mile distribution

One of the most important and costly processes for companies is optimizing product delivery during the last mile

With an increasingly demanding customer and the constant advancement of technology, a simple mistake in delivery can have serious consequences for the company.

The focus of organizations is now on the end customer. A satisfied customer is a sure value. 

If we want to provide a last-mile service in line with demanding customers, we must consider the following strategies:

  • Implement the use of artificial intelligence. Both AI and machine learning son dos herramientas fundamentales en la gestión de las plataformas de logística. Con ellas la mejora de precisión en el pronóstico de envíos es de hasta un 90%. En temporada alta, ya sea Navidad o fechas señaladas como el Black Friday, las ventas pueden aumentar hasta un 300% y tanto los procesos como los equipos deben agilizarse más que nunca. Gracias a las previsiones inteligentes se puede mejorar la organización de las rutas, la optimización de los vehículos y qué repartidores hay disponibles. Invertir en Inteligencia Artificial merece la pena, ya que también su uso conlleva una reducción de los costes.

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