Due to the pandemic scenarios, the demand for e-commerce has increased considerably.
About this changing consumer behavior, it is determined that traditional approaches to work and to shop are unlikely to ever go back to what they were pre-COVID. Whether this affects on-line shopping from home remains to be seen.
This scenario has provided an opportunity for shippers, vehicle manufacturers, and technology companies to research, test, and invest in alternative ways of providing pickup, transportation, sorting, and delivery.
Concerning them, there are views of various veteran experts about the return to “normality”.
It can be said that this factor is not only affecting the freight market in ways that were not predicted even five years ago, but it is also changing the size and volumes of shipments to packages and less than trucks (LTL).
But, it can be said that the parcel has had a greater impact due to electronic commerce. The volume of packages is increasing and in turn the shift from B2B to B2C.
“Almost two-thirds of the total volume is now B2C”
This change has an impact on delivery density, as B2B has more packages per stop than consumer or residential stops. This causes networks to be pushed beyond capacity in many areas by the time it takes to complete deliveries on low-density routes. Causing UPS and FedEx to discontinue service refunds.
Also, the role of air cargo has been huge in the growth of global e-commerce.
“The lack of cargo capacity continues to be a key obstacle to a faster recovery in the air cargo business. Freight ton-kilometers available worldwide fell 25.2% year-on-year in September, a contraction more than three times faster than demand”
About the above, the lack of cargo capacity is one of the main obstacles to a rapid recovery of air cargo volumes. That is why, by 2021, Amazon Air will have at least 70 freighters operating in 20 air hubs. Since this company is rapidly adding air capacity with the acquisition of freighters, to increase its market.
The ocean carriers operating the world’s container ships face a variety of challenges. Due to restricted capacity, shipping companies have had to increase rates. Which exceeds all-time highs by 40%.
In the case of Asia-Pacific, the demand for empty containers to load is enormous. So in various situations, liner companies are returning empty containers as quickly as possible.
In addition to this, there are cases of vessels leaving Asia almost empty due to the lack of boxes at the loading points.
Rail (intermodal & carload)
The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) is the benchmark for intermodal facts, figures, and analysis.
Intermodal volumes began to increase in the third quarter before increasing 9.6% in the fourth quarter. Intermodal trailers had the largest percentage increase, with an increase of 17.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Also, the three market sectors increased significantly during that time.
E-commerce is resulting in much more inventory being positioned later, reducing wait time for end users, and having service requirements that can be challenging for intermodal.
Source: Logistics Management