Are UPS Red or FedEx Priority shipments still not fast enough for you? Don't worry because things could get a whole lot faster.
Zebra Technologies Corp. commissioned a study of 2,700 transportation and logistics professionals. What they found is good news for anyone who shops on-line and is part of the growing on-demand economy.
Zebra's research shows that within five years, 78 precent of logistics companies think they'll be able to deliver your merchandise the same day you order it. But that's not all. 40 percent of logistics companies think that by 2028, they'll be able to narrow that same-day delivery time to a two hour window.
A fundamental shift in brick and mortar strategy is, in part, making this possible. Instead of using centralized distribution centers, retailers are using their network of stores to fulfill orders. For example, let's say you live in Fairbanks Alaska and you place an order via Walmart's website. Instead of shipping that item from a DC, Walmart will ship it from the local store in Fairbanks.
In fact, thousands of retailers are spending millions of dollars retrofitting stores to double as online fulfillment centers and shrinking selling space to handle online pickups and returns.
To fulfill the orders, the items must be in stock. Currently, manufacturers, logistics companies and merchants ranked their inventory accuracy at 74 percent. They say they'll need to bring that number up to at least 83 percent to handle the rise of omni-channel logistics.
According to Zebra, technology will make that possible. Although 55 percent of companies are still using manual pen-and-paper based processes to enable omni-channel logistics, by 2021 94 percent of companies expect to be using mobile computers with handheld scanners. That combined with RFID technology and a network of drivers or even crowdsourced delivery will ensure that one day when you run out of laundry detergent, it may show up at your door faster than if you went to the store yourself.