The Sendcloud CEO highlights the six delivery trends, which will determine the performance of the deliveries of the purchased goods and therefore also the successes of the retailers.

In 2020 after the pandemic was declared, the number of packages sent worldwide grew by 27%, a trend that kept pace even in 2021, especially in the first quarter. Today 3,248 parcels per second are shipped worldwide and according to Pitney Bowes’ forecasts the overall volume of parcels will double by 2026.

In this regard, Rob van den Heuvel, CEO of Sendcloud, a Dutch company that provides logistics solutions to e-commerce companies and that over the years has gone from building APIs to providing a complete cloud platform for managing the entire process of

The first trend concerns the last mile, with new delivery and robotization methods with autonomously driven vehicles. To keep pace with the increasing volume of packages, a large number of dealers and couriers are starting to experiment with robotics delivery in the form of autonomously driven vehicles, drones and delivery robots.

Amazon has already invested nearly $530 million in the Aurora autonomous car company, as well as DPD is testing the first autonomous, pilotless vehicle in Europe. In the near future we will see the disappearance of man from the delivery process in favour of an automated system with protagonists robots and electric vehicles.

The second trend says that flexible delivery will become the norm.

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and want to choose where, when and how to receive your package. As a result, today the delivery demand for the same day is growing rapidly and McKinsey estimates that the deliveries in day and instant ones will reach a share of 20-25% of the entire delivery market by 2025.

Not surprisingly, according to Sendcloud for 81% of consumers flexibility is an important element in delivery options, while another 67% requires the possibility to change the delivery timeline even when the package is already on the move.

To meet this flexibility request, couriers are offering more and more premium delivery services. For example, DHL has launched an app to ensure customers can follow their deliveries at any time. This constant and increasingly frequent tendency to flexibility will therefore become the norm and cannot be ignored anymore.

The third trend says that the address intelligence will make the delivery successful. With the increasing volume of parcels, the lack of delivery is becoming an increasingly frequent problem. This causes frustration among consumers and also represents a significant cost to retailers. Big data can help make the last delivery mile more efficient and increase the chances of successful delivery.

To balance cost-to-serve and optimise delivery process, the address intelligence can help identify networks and delivery options (and returns) alternatives for specific areas. The system is able to identify already at the beginning of the purchase process how the customer wants to receive his parcel. This way, already in the checkout, retailers can ensure that the logistics processes are regulated according to the needs of consumers. In the future, dealers and couriers will increasingly rely on the address intelligence to adapt their supply chains to new market needs and thus become more efficient.

The sustainability trend of delivery cannot be missed. With the signing of the European Green Deal in July 2021, van den Heuvel notes, the search for sustainable delivery methods is more urgent than ever. In the Green Deal, as the first step towards carbon neutrality set for 2050, European countries agreed to reduce their emissions by 55% by 2030. One way to achieve this ambitious goal is to reduce truck emissions by 50%.

Many couriers are trying to make their operations more sustainable. It’s no coincidence that DHL has invested in its first electric trucks this year and DPD intends to distribute its packages only through vehicles that emit little or no CO2 in the 225 largest cities in Europe by 2025. It is therefore expected that this trend towards sustainability will only grow in the coming years.

Fifth: Delivery time. Consumers are generally becoming more patient when it comes to the delivery times of online orders. While consumers expected to receive their orders within a maximum of 4 days in 2020, they are now willing to wait up to 5 days. The most requested and desirable delivery times are therefore evolving and will depend on increasingly complex factors and sustainability standards.

Sixth: the subscription model: with more and more consumers ordering online, delivery subscriptions are also increasing. The subscription to a delivery service is in fact increasingly attractive because it rewards the consumer: the more it orders, the greater the benefit. As a result, by 2022, delivery subscriptions promise to play an increasingly important role in the online retailer’s shipping strategy. Although subscriptions are more popular today only at retailers and larger marketplaces, it will be a challenge for small retailers to be able to respond appropriately to this new market trend.

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