Hörmann UK’s projects director, Tom Langley, discusses the changing face of the warehouse and logistics industry and how retailers are responding to the rise of online shopping.

With consumer demand at an alltime high, retailers are having to continuously look at new ways of managing customer expectations. Because of this, the warehouse and logistics industry is under increasing pressure to consider how they can deliver goods faster and more efficiently.

E-commerce has changed the way we all shop, with consumers no longer expecting to wait 1-2 weeks for a delivery. Consumers today are demanding faster deliveries and convenience at a lower cost, meaning that their expectations are much higher than they were only a few years ago.

Amazon is just one example of an ecommerce retailer, often considered to be at the forefront when it comes to meeting consumer demands. To ensure that it does everything it can to suit our needs and fit into our busy lifestyles, this leading online retailer offers a choice of delivery options, such as click and collect, convenient collection and returns locations and next day delivery on a Sunday. It also offers its customers the option of signing up to an annual membership, with a one of payment, that allows them to shop online and have their order delivered the very next day, without having to pay for delivery. In order to succeed, retailers need to make sure they don’t get left behind when it comes to efficient delivery. It’s no longer simply a case of providing click and collect and next day delivery, retailers are required to think outside the box and go that one step further to exceed customer’s needs.

With many online retailers now offering different delivery options, including unlimited fast delivery, consumers are finding it much easier and convenient to make multiple online purchases. This comes at a price, however, and the warehouse and logistics industry is having to adapt the design of their facilities, reconsider their fulfilment processes and introduce more vehicles into their fleets. As well as this, warehousing facilities could go one step further and find a way of recognising customer orders, combining multiple purchases from the same customer together and delivering as one consignment the very next day. This will not only cut down the amount of parcels a customer receives, but will help free up much needed space in the warehouse prior to orders being dispatched, and improve the logistic provider’s carbon footprint.

The increased demand on the warehouse and logistics industry means that both construction of and upgrades to distribution premises are at a record high. We are having to take into consideration a much wider set of loading bay requirements: from larger centralised ‘mega’ distribution centres, with over one hundred loading bays, to smaller pick and collect localised warehouses. This variety means that individual attention is needed to ensure that each premise reaches the height of its distribution potential.

With the rise in e-commerce, these smaller warehousing facilities capable of providing a fast turnaround of goods, are becoming more and more popular. This new style of facility and need means that logistic operations now require loading bay equipment and technology that will allow for large quantities of goods to flow very quickly both into and out of their warehouses.

Every year, we invest a considerable amount of time in research and development to ensure that our customers benefit from the latest technological advancements. The BBS dock shelter is the latest addition to our range of loading bay technology and is designed to help warehouse occupants improve efficiency and the safety of commercial vehicle drivers when loading and unloading.

Designed for small transport and delivery vehicles, such as the VW Crafter and Mercedes Sprinter, the BBS dock shelter offers real estate owners the perfect solution when it comes to quick, low quantity forms of delivery. It has been designed so that it can be adapted to suit the shape of commercial vehicles. Forming a complete seal around these vehicles once docked, it helps to protect valuable stock in warehouses from the elements and help avoid heat loss.

As the warehouse and logistics industry is continuously changing, Hörmann places significant investment in research and development, guaranteeing that its products and services are adjusted in line with shifting needs and buying habits. The industry as a whole is heading towards a completely new way of warehousing, and I am pleased to be working for a company that supports the industry and is aware of the issues, ensuring that we provide our customers with the best possible solutions.

HÖRMANN

Tel: 01530 513000

www.hormann.co.uk