With the recent boom in e commerce shopping, the logistics and supply chain industry started evolving. More and more consumers have found buying on-the-go from mobile phones and handheld devices, eCommerce shopping has become a fix for finding niche products at reasonable rates. Therefore, online shopping also influences how these products get moved between manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers and the end consumers. The steady growth of eCommerce buying and selling made ltl shipping companies operate efficiently to offer optimised shipping for customers where price, quality and customer service rule the roost.
As a result, less than truckload (LTL) shipping gained momentum over time. The shipping industry has undergone a great transformation during the last few years due to the surge in eCommerce shopping. The flexibility of online buying will continue to grow in future. The increasing acceptance of eCommerce among consumers directly impacted ltl shipping, as there are many constraints.
Along with customer expectations on free shipping with the express delivery services such as same-day delivery, next day or two-day deliveries. Therefore, to keep up with the expectations and provide its loyal customers with the best service, distributors and carrier companies adopt more productive ways to move goods to the retailers and consumers to adapt quickly to the demands of the eCommerce industry. Let us see how eCommerce is shaping up ltl freight for offering one-of-a-kind services to customers.
1. Frequent Shipping for Smaller Freight
Before the eCommerce era, retailers stocked products in warehouses by transporting them in bulk at uniform intervals. However, with the onset of eCommerce stores, online shopping has become a hit among customers. It necessitated retailers to make small but frequent shipping to consumers directly. Indeed, it is different from the large shipments received at regular intervals. During every minute, customers make purchases and often, they may not constitute full truck load (FTL) shipments.
Therefore, retailers rely on ltl shipping services for moving products from distribution centres/ fulfilment houses to consumers. With more and more small and medium-sized businesses are here to stay in the eCommerce sector, the LTL shipments will be on-demand always. Therefore, eCommerce is changing the way ltl shipping service operates because there is a reduction in shipment size, while the shipping frequency is on the rise. Large shipments that demand truckload service has become a thing of the past, at least in the case of eCommerce shipping.
2. Several Delivery Points
Earlier, warehouses stored the goods once unloaded, when retailers operated through their brick-and-mortar stores. But today, the scenario is completed different. As discussed above, when retailers started selling through online stores, they made smaller shipments at frequent intervals to different locations other than warehouses. Unlike warehouses, these destinations often do not have the facilities for unloading the freight.
Today, to meet the need for delivery at locations other warehouses that lack unloading facilities such as truck docks or loading bays, LTL carriers have transformed their truck types for delivery, in cities and town areas, in particular. Also, in urban areas and towns, last-mile logistics gain much significance, which in turn has an impact on shipping rates. Also, ltl shipping companies assign comparatively smaller trucks that it is easy to get these vehicles equipped with lift gates to provide safe and easy access to the benefit of many businesses within the eCommerce industry. It solves the problem of unloading shipments to a great extent in destinations that lack infrastructural facilities.
3. Micro-Fulfilment Centres
Now quick delivery time and tight delivery windows have become the order of the day. With more customers accustomed to same-day, next-day and two-day delivery, they expect their products to get delivered within a short time at reasonable rates. The increasing demand for faster shipment delivery transforms the way the packages get delivered to the customer doorstep. Along with speedy delivery, customers also expect free shipping. As online merchants have made windfall gains through free shipping options, ltl shipping services engaged in eCommerce delivery solutions make all efforts to make it feasible.
It necessitated the establishment of distribution centres and micro-fulfilment centres close to cities and towns. It helps reduce the transit time and, therefore, the shipping costs also. By keeping the products nearer to delivery destinations, eCommerce merchants and carriers offering fulfilment cut down costs and the time required for shipment delivery. With modern technologies to their help, shipping companies can further optimise routes and rates while providing deliveries much faster than usual at reasonable rates and thus fulfil customer expectations in this regard.
4. Shorter Delivery Windows
Before the advent of eCommerce, when customers brought products from physical stores, there was hardly any need for smaller shipments at more frequent intervals. As said earlier, warehouses receive the deliveries, and the products get stored inside them before moving them to the physical stores. But now, the changing customer expectations on order delivery is also changing the ltl shipping scenario. Customers want to receive their products as early as possible, as they can choose the delivery time window.
The hub and spoke system of the logistics network facilitates the turnaround time for tighter delivery time windows. The frequent, smaller shipments get fulfiled with cross-docking reduces the transit time. Shipping companies using modern logistics and supply chain technology supports LTL freight in accessing visibility in goods transit by integrating information on a single dashboard. It helps to eliminate unnecessary delays and thus help reduce the time required for delivery. In effect, it expands the delivery window while ensuring timely delivery.
Book LTL shipment at Ianis Cargo
Ianis Cargo, one of the leading digital shipping platforms for moving freight, cargo and pallet deliveries through express transport, FTL and ltl shipping services, also offers air shipping and eCommerce delivery solutions. Unlike other shipping platforms, eCommerce merchants and their customers can avail lowest price quotes. Partnered with several well-established courier companies, Ianis Cargo facilitates courier rate comparisons to bring the lowest price quotes to its customers.
A live shipping calculator provided the price rates instantly, and the use of advanced algorithmic systems and artificial intelligence helps route optimisation, pricing and many more. With intelligent tracking in place, customers can monitor the transit status of their order deliveries from anywhere. Move goods safely with the assurance of cargo insurance, electronic proof of delivery and many more while relying on all types of transportation solutions offered through Ianis Cargo- FTL service, ltl shipping, express transport, pallet delivery and air shipping.