Monthly Product Demo Register Now

Sifted logo

New era of shipping: E-commerce, climate change and data analytics in the logistics industry

by | Apr 21, 2021

3 min read

The once-stagnant logistics industry has undergone rapid change in recent years. The 2017 electronic logging device mandate sparked something of a technological revolution within the industry. This focus on tech — coupled with outside forces ranging from consumer demand to climate change — has fostered an environment of innovation. Companies that are slow to adapt to new expectations are likely to be left behind. Shippers are no exception.

E-commerce boom

Between the second quarter of 2019 and the same quarter of 2020, e-commerce sales soared from 10.8% to 16.1% of total retail sales.

Consumer retail spending in the e-commerce space has been climbing for decades. Historically, e-commerce has experienced slow but steady growth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce spending tends to climb about 1% on a year-over-year basis. Last year’s dramatic results were a pandemic-fueled outlier.

“If you look at transportation as a whole, it is on a hockey stick growth curve. If you look at parcel and e-commerce within parcel, the amount of growth over the last year has been wild,” Sifted Chief Revenue Officer Caleb Nelson said. “The rate of growth has been so drastic that capacity is struggling, leaving shippers in a tight spot.”

While uncharacteristically speedy growth in the e-commerce space was undoubtedly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, the trend is expected to continue even as consumers resume many of their pre-pandemic habits. That means the pressure is on retailers and transportation companies alike to adapt without sacrificing customer service.

“A lot of people were forced to shop online during the pandemic. Since then, there has been a major shift indicating that individuals are willing to go outside their comfort zones and do more online shopping,” Nelson said. “The resulting strain on capacity has carried through to shippers and consumers. The pressure is on shippers to find areas of cost savings and deliver a better customer experience.”

Going green

In addition to grappling with the e-commerce surge, many shippers are searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising customer service. Consumers are asking shippers to reckon with their impact on the environment and adopt greener manufacturing and transportation practices.

“Shippers often ask us how they can reduce their carbon footprint. It’s important to their customers because they want to do business with companies that share their same values,” Nelson said. “Reducing top zones, shipping more locally and reporting on fuel surcharges all factor in when a client is trying to understand their carbon footprint.”

Climate change will remain a hot-button issue, and this pressure is not expected to let up anytime soon. To adjust to the evolving landscape, shippers will need to move past age-old tendencies to be reactive to the logistics industry and economic changes and embrace a more proactive approach.

Data’s power in the logistics industry

To meet that imperative, shippers often need help visualizing their data to identify areas of opportunity.

“Most shippers know that there are additional areas of cost reduction that could be embraced within their businesses,” Nelson said. “They may have a gut feeling about what needs to change but could be lacking the modeling of their data to confirm those gut feelings.”

That is where Sifted comes into play. The company’s data-powered Logistics Intelligence (LI) platform helps shippers uncover areas of cost saving through optimization and modeling. This approach takes data beyond simple reporting, making it interactive. Sifted gives shippers superior clarity, uncovers hidden costs and identifies promising growth opportunities.

“Reporting is often touted, but there is a difference between reporting and modeling,” Nelson said. “Modeling allows you to play with your data in a sandbox, running what-if analyses. This is one of the major differences between Sifted and others. We provide a living, breathing simulation using data.”

Shippers who have a deep understanding of their data, with access to comprehensive models, are the ones most likely to win in today’s shipping environment. These companies are more efficient, allowing them to offer best-in-class pricing and higher levels of customer service.

Feel empowered to stay ahead in the new era of shipping with Logistics Intelligence (LI).

As seen on FreightWaves

Topics: eCommerce Shipping, Logistics Industry, Shipping Data, Shipping Trends
Topics

Check out related resources at Sifted.

Monumental Rate Hikes: 2023 UPS & FedEx General Rate Increase (GRI) Analysis

Monumental Rate Hikes: 2023 UPS & FedEx General Rate Increase (GRI) Analysis

It’s here. UPS & FedEx have announced an average General Rate Increase of 6.9%. Actual impact to most ...
Read More
Freight Transportation: The Ins, the Outs, and How it Affects Logistics

Freight Transportation: The Ins, the Outs, and How it Affects Logistics

What Is Freight Transportation? Freight transportation is the movement of goods, merchandise, and cargo using ...
Read More
What is a UPS Residential Surcharge?

What is a UPS Residential Surcharge?

As a shipper, you can request delivery to any address. However, when your packages are shipped to a residential ...
Read More
Shipping Contracts: Key Responsibilities You Can’t Miss

Shipping Contracts: Key Responsibilities You Can’t Miss

What Is a Shipping Contract? Whether you are a high-volume shipper or run a small business, you must understand ...
Read More
Logistics Planning: Why Your Business Should Prioritize It

Logistics Planning: Why Your Business Should Prioritize It

What Is Logistics Planning? Logistics planning is a planning process that helps businesses achieve their logistics ...
Read More
How Companies Can Reduce Parcel Shipping Costs in 2022

How Companies Can Reduce Parcel Shipping Costs in 2022

Different Factors to Consider One of the top priorities for eCommerce businesses and shippers alike is finding ...
Read More
How Predictive Analytics Helps Improve Supply Chain Operations

How Predictive Analytics Helps Improve Supply Chain Operations

What Is Supply Chain Predictive Analytics? Supply chain predictive analytics use historical and present data and ...
Read More
Cyber Monday and Tips for Shippers to Stay Ahead of the Curve

Cyber Monday and Tips for Shippers to Stay Ahead of the Curve

What Is Cyber Monday? Cyber Monday is a major eCommerce-exclusive shopping event that falls on the first Monday ...
Read More
Do Fedex, USPS, UPS do Black Friday Mail Delivery?

Do Fedex, USPS, UPS do Black Friday Mail Delivery?

What Is Black Friday? Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States, and falls ...
Read More
Sifted at PARCEL Forum ‘22: Our Recap

Sifted at PARCEL Forum ‘22: Our Recap

In October, Sifted traveled to Chicago to attend PARCEL Forum ‘22, the largest event for eCommerce-centric B2B and ...
Read More
Delivery Exceptions: How to Handle Them

Delivery Exceptions: How to Handle Them

What Is a Delivery Exception? A delivery exception (also known as shipment exception) is when package delivery ...
Read More
The Importance of Business Intelligence in Supply Chains

The Importance of Business Intelligence in Supply Chains

What is Business Intelligence? Business intelligence (BI) is a method of collecting and analyzing business data to ...
Read More
Black Friday and How Shippers Can Combat Potential Shipping Delays

Black Friday and How Shippers Can Combat Potential Shipping Delays

What is Black Friday? Black Friday an annual shopping event that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. It is ...
Read More

How Sifted Works

Connect to
your account

Sync
your data

Power your
dashboards

Get Your Logistics
Intelligence Demo

Strategic ways to prevent loss down the line

Services you could be utilizing right now for savings

Ways to cut material costs without cutting quality

Are you an FBM (fulfillment by merchant) Amazon seller?

Check out our Marketplace Intelligence solutions to protect your bottom line.

Shipping Insights & Alerts
Get updates and track the things impacting your business most

Decision Support
See how supply chain adjustments pay off before you pay out

Carrier Management
Streamline how you manage your carrier operations and contracts

Business Automation
Let software do what it does better than people can

Seller Insights
Measure and monitor with confidence.

Sales Visualization
Shed new light on your sales data.

Fee Analyzer
Understand the impact of ever-changing FBA fees.

FBA Audit & Recovery
Secure money you’re owed from Amazon.

Blog
Discover news, tips, and industry best practices

DIM Weight Calculator
See how DIM is impacting you

Customer Stories
Learn how other brands use
Logistics Intelligence

Carbon Calculator
Calculate your CO2 Emissions

Guides
Download free reports and expert how-tos

Demo
Get a personalized tour of our software

Logistics Intelligence
For parcel shippers

Marketplace Intelligence
For Amazon FBA sellers

Let's get you to the right place!

SIFTED DASHBOARDS
For parcel shippers

AMAZON Marketplace Intelligence

Not sure if you have an account? Email [email protected].