- The transition of e-commerce from B2B to B2C now allows consumer preference to dominate delivery speed, recently reported McKinsey&Company. That group of consumers is growing and skews to younger people.
- About 25% of survey respondents said delivery of packages on the same day is worth a premium price. Still that means a majority of consumers currently favor the least expensive delivery options.
- In as soon as 10 years, expect autonomous methods to dominate last-mile delivery. The autonomous concept met early resistance, but consumer acceptance is now greater than 50%.
Last-mile delivery was frequently referred to as the portion of the supply chain most ripe for disruption, and the past few months have seen various technologies arise to fill the gap. In fact, technologies have progressed to the point instant delivery is becoming possible.
Whether it's delivery-by-drone, self-driving cars, roboats, or a combination of these, last-mile technology has progressed to the point even instant delivery (hours and minutes, not days) is becoming possible. Think of Uber Eats and similar developments for groceries.
So what's next in line?
Otto's recent short-haul success in autonomous trucking may mean the sector will see great technological advances in the near future. Already, online freight marketplaces and load boards are picking up steam - although they are far from perfect.
Or perhaps it will be the more general freight sector, whose heavy losses in both shipping and rail beg for change. Meanwhile, SaaS services keep improving and helping manufacturers advance, but the innovations hardly stand out as the next big thing beyond integration services.
Regardless, one thing is certain: innovative technology is, and will continue to drive major shifts throughout the supply chain.