The logistics sector is also of growing importance for the real estate sector due to its search for new spaces, more modern locations, cutting-edge technology and excellent locations. Discover, in this article, the main challenges and changes in the logistics sector, how they can work to keep up with this digital acceleration, as well as its importance for our well-being.
In recent years, the increase in online consumption, significantly accelerated by the pandemic and the closure of many physical spaces for long periods, forced a rapid adaptation of logistics structures (which many companies have not yet managed to adapt), which are here to stay and, even improve. As pointed out by the consultant McKinsey the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in companies 20 to 25 times. Processes that usually take years to implement, such as remote work or the proper use of technologies, were adopted in weeks.
This is precisely the speed that logistics also has to keep up with, as the market now asks for quick adaptations and changes, and logistics is the connecting link! Thus, to accompany this expansion, players in the logistics sector are improving the efficiency of their operations and implementing technological solutions, such as ensuring efficient last-mile delivery, improving the management of complaints and returns, fine-tuning cross-border delivery (making cross-border shopping more accessible and safer), developing its own logistics platforms and activating cutting-edge technologies such as augmented and virtual reality drones for delivery.
The last mile, or last-mile delivery, is the final step in moving a load between the distribution centre and the destination. In other words, it is the last step before the delivery of the order and, therefore, it is essential to guarantee customer satisfaction. This phase had the most significant changes during the pandemic, and that will continue to be one of the biggest bets of logistics chains, as the demand for faster and more efficient deliveries is here to stay and define who is chosen, consumers. According to estimates from McKinsey, same-day or near-immediate delivery will represent between 20% and 25% of the market in 2025, and it is expected to grow even more later on.
Thus, the search for spaces that make it possible to bring logistics chains closer to consumers and, consequently, the optimization of the last mile and the adoption of technologies that allow for the automation of processes is essential to improve market position and customer loyalty.
If digitization, both for companies and consumers, was already in rapid progress, with the pandemic, it gained more traction and more importance. It was visible that companies that had bet on digital technologies could quickly respond to market demands and absorb a greater volume of orders in less time, even in total confinement. Companies that were or were planning to digitize and automate processes in the coming years anticipated these same projects to keep up with new orders.
We cannot talk about evolution in the logistics sector without looking at emerging technologies, such as robotics or artificial intelligence, from the 4.0 era, which allows for better cargo tracking, stock management, process control, transport management, and relationship with the customer. It is worth highlighting one of the study’s conclusions, as mentioned earlier by McKinsey, which points out that three emerging delivery models are precisely autonomous land vehicles with automatic lockers, drones, and bicycle couriers (an equally last-mile response ). A path that will ensure that, in the future, 80% of orders will be delivered by autonomous vehicles.
Alongside technology, sustainability is increasingly a crucial issue for the sector. Although numerous challenges accompany the implementation of sustainability policies, the increase in environmental pollution, noise and waste generated by logistics globally puts it in focus about its environmental responsibilities.
Thus, awareness of this change is inevitable to align business strategies with consumers’ will and achieve notoriety. Sustainable initiatives today need to become natural and intrinsic to all stages of the supply chain, as only then can they contribute to a greener environment. Recyclable and more eco-friendly materials, innovative recycling programs, storage optimization and stock management, using cutting-edge technological solutions, the focus on more efficient picking and packing processes, such as sending trucks only when fully loaded, as well as such as better route planning, to optimize deliveries and reduce carbon emissions, together with the adoption of environmentally friendly vehicles, are some of the primary measures to be implemented.
In a complementary way, logistics chains that want to be at the forefront of respect for environmental, social and human sustainability should also take into account the entire supply chain, from how the raw material is obtained, production and distribution process, the development of spaces built with more efficient materials, the collaboration with partners and social and community entities in the development of local and global sustainability programs.
It is, therefore, confirmed that the nearest distribution centres, with a clear commitment to digitalization and sustainability, are gaining ground in an increasingly global world but are increasingly concerned locally with the decisions made by the different operating players. Satisfied customers, greater efficiency, and more transparency are assumed to be the new paradigm for the logistics sector.Back to the top