Trends In Material Handling That Every Ecommerce Business Owner Needs To Know In 2022
There is no denying technology is driving many industries. From transportation to medical treatment, technology is changing how we live and work. One of the industries that has had a technology pivot in the past few years is eCommerce and its material handling operations. Material handling is responsible for moving and packaging a greater diversity of products and sizes throughout a facility than ever before.
This is a tough industry. The market is oversaturated with e-commerce fulfillment centers, leading to higher vacancy rates and lower leasing costs. At the same time, online sales are rising at an unprecedented pace, making it difficult to see how the industry will stabilize before 2022.
It’s not easy for traditional material handling businesses to compete with e-commerce order fulfillment strategies. It turns out that these warehouses are also expensive to operate and maintain. Shippers need more flexibility in their supply chain, so they’re increasingly looking outside of standard warehouse models to cut costs.
Building a brand
In the past, vendors have focused on building relationships with retailers rather than individual consumers. But now that consumers have so much more power in the marketplace, they can choose from many different brands and products. That puts pressure on vendors to create unique selling propositions and brand experiences.
In the past, third-party logistics (3PL) providers were responsible for warehousing and distribution of commodity items like canned food or electronics parts. Now, though, 3PLs are moving upmarket by providing services for highly customized products like pharmaceuticals and other consumer goods. They’re even helping manufacturers reduce costs by streamlining production processes.
A Move to Local Warehousing Solutions
As the eCommerce industry continues to develop, more and more businesses are looking for ways to make their shipping, storage, and fulfillment processes as efficient as possible.
With the record growth of the eCommerce industry comes a demand for improved methods of shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment. As the competition gets tougher online, businesses are starting to look outside the box for new solutions to old problems.
One challenge that eCommerce businesses today have to deal with is how to deal with a fluctuating volume of orders. In such an environment, it’s crucial to have an agile system in place that can quickly adapt to changing consumer needs.
With local warehousing solutions gaining popularity among eCommerce companies, more and more businesses are turning away from traditional distribution centers in favor of cheaper local alternatives. This concept is simple: if your products are closer to your consumers, you’ll be able to ship them out faster and at a lower cost.
Another advantage of local warehousing solutions lies in automation. Businesses that use robotics and autonomous vehicles avoid the need for human labor altogether, which leads to significant savings on labor costs. In addition, having robots move goods between storage facilities helps free up warehouse space for incoming orders instead of keeping it reserved for shipments.
The Need for More Efficient Space
Material handling is one of the most important aspects of any eCommerce business. It is essential to have a system in place that can move your products from their origin to where they are needed. The need for more space is growing as eCommerce sales continue to rise. This means you will need a solution that will work for you and also be eco-friendly.
The Right Solutions and Eco-Friendly Plastic Containers Will Help
In order for eCommerce businesses to keep up with the rising demand for storage solutions for online sellers, the material handling industry is continually looking for innovative ways to make their solutions more efficient. There is a shift towards eco-friendly products as the world becomes more aware of the impact of packaging waste materials like cardboard or plastic on the environment. Utilizing eco-friendly plastic containers can help solve this problem while also providing an easy way to store and ship your products.
Custom Handling Solutions
In the coming years, top eCommerce material handling pivots will include:
Custom handling solutions. Businesses will have to make sure they are finding custom handling solutions that meet their needs as products continue to get larger and heavier. It will be important for companies to be flexible with their shipping carriers and shipping partners when it comes to how their products are handled and transported.
Larger orders will increase in volume in 2022, creating a greater need for large eCommerce material handling equipment. Companies will want to make sure they are prepared for the increase in demand for larger capacity units. Ideally, no order will be turned away because of lack of space or too much weight, as this could hurt business relationships and lead to negative reviews.
Ergonomically sound design
A shift from manufacturing goods overseas to domestically will occur over the next few years. This means there will be a greater need for ergonomically sound design on material handling equipment and warehouse space. This design focuses on accessibility, employee comfort, productivity, and work quality.
Global growth in eCommerce
The global market is expanding at rates never seen before. This means new businesses are popping up. These operations may not have previously considered selling internationally or have had limited exposure to international markets.
Moving More Towards Material Handling Automation
Localized warehousing doesn’t mean a decline in materials handling and automation.
To keep pace, material handling is going to become more localized. The days of larger spaces are dwindling. Having durable, flexible container systems that can help operations pivot to digital processes can be relatively seamless with the right systems in place.
Material handling containers and systems have come a long way from their traditional steel-frame counterparts and are now more mobile, durable, and flexible than ever before. It will be exciting to see what this year holds.