The new shopping experience is here and it’s here to stay. Forget the ‘one-stop-shop’, now it’s all about the ‘one-click shop’ as an increasing number of people turn to the internet to fulfil their shopping needs. From groceries, to clothes or technology, virtually anything can be ordered through the click of button.
The increase in online transactions has naturally affected the logistics industry by increasing the demand for not only quick and reliable delivery services but the delivery of products from manufacturers to large distribution centres. But is the phenomenal growth expected to continue?
Experts are predicting online shopping is set to double in the UK, US, China and Germany to be worth over £645bn in the coming years. Today Brits are already reportedly spending almost £1 in every £5 online, and this ratio is set to grow over the next three years as more people turn to smartphones as consumers seek quicker and hassle free ways to shop.
It may be surprising to those who regularly fuel their shopping habit online that if they had travelled to the retailer to physically purchase the goods, much more would have been spent on petrol costs. It has been calculated that the average UK online shopper would have travelled over 6,000 miles in 2015 if they were to pick up their goods directly from the shops. This figure has increased by 1,500% in the last eleven years, when the figure was a mere 358 miles or as little as just 50 miles in 1995.
To fulfil these 6000 miles, of course someone has to bring the goods to distribution centre and ultimately the consumer. The entire concept of ‘online shopping’ would grind to a halt without the logistics industry. Whilst this brings great news for Barnes Logistics as we see continued demand for our ‘just in time’ services, with the average age of drivers at 53 and only two percent of drivers aged under 25 there are concerns that the demand for drivers could cause issues for the industry.
The Government has however stepped in and proposed several plans to support the sector by encouraging drivers to join the industry and fulfil the demand. A ‘Road to Logistics’ scheme has been announced, giving ex-military personnel the opportunity to train in the sector, as well as recently approved Government funding for apprenticeships. Further pledged campaigns include; better driver facilities, quicker funding turnaround of medical queries by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and the promotion of the logistics sector to raise awareness. All these schemes, if correctly implemented, will allow the freight and logistics industry to meet the demand for its services.
There’s no doubt the industry is facing exciting times and growing demand. We’ve expanded our fleet to help cope with this demand and also moved to bigger and better facilities that provide both logistics support as well as state of the art warehousing facilities. By taking such steps we’re well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that online retailing presents.