The Specifics Of Retail Logistics: What Makes it Different?

Reading a barcode from a cardboard box. Inventory of the warehouse. Recalculating the product in the warehouse. The work of the storekeeper.

What’s Unique About Logistics In the Retail Industry?

Managing Retailing, Wholesaling, and Logistics

Even though brick-and-mortar retail sales might be slower due to the pandemic and the rise of the internet, retail logistics are still important. One of the reasons for that is this topic includes e-retail logistics – supply chain solutions for online shoppers. This subject covers everything that it takes to move products to and from stores, or directly to consumers. There are many reasons why a retailer would seek the assistance of a 3rd party logistics provider, sometimes also known as a 3PL.

Outside of Logistics Warehouse with Open Door, Delivery Van Loaded with Cardboard Boxes. Truck Delivering Online Orders, Purchases, E-Commerce Goods, Wholesale Merchandise.

So, What Is Retail Logistics?

Retail companies are experts on their products. They often have their own internal departments for everything from marketing to logistics management. However, 3PLs are experts on only logistics. We have the connections and expertise to get everything done efficiently and cost-effectively. We have both international and domestic expertise. So, we can provide assistance with rail, truck, ocean freight, and air cargo.

Retail logistics encompasses anything that has to do with the combination of retail and logistics. The new world of COVID-19 has made this area of logistics even more important. Curbside pickup and home delivery, both components of retail logistics services have seen a huge increase. Additionally, challenges with international shipping have made the news several times. Ports have been getting congested. With a potential energy crisis looming, less freight has been leaving from China as some factories slow down to conserve energy. So, part of the modern logistics challenge is keeping inventory in stores, reducing costs, and decreasing shipping times.

What Services Are Included With Retail Logistics Solutions?

When it comes to these projects, there are many possible services you may need. If you don’t see what your project requires listed here, just ask us. This is a sampling of what is frequently involved.

  • Retail reverse logistics: When stores close, businesses need solutions to take down displays and move merchandise to new stores. Retail stores also need solutions for taking back unwanted or damaged merchandise through a returns process, storing and transporting seasonal displays, and reusing fixtures and furniture. Pop up retail stores also use reverse logistics to recycle and reuse materials from previous pop ups in a new location.
  • Final mile: Offering your customers unique and tailored home delivery options can put your retail business above the rest. Providing quick, trackable, and reliable final mile delivery for order fulfillment is a retail logistics trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. Amazing final mile service can give your retail business a competitive advantage.
  • Transloading, crossdocking, and drayage: These services allow you to have more efficiency in your supply chain. Drayage goods from train cars and cargo ships onto another form of transportation. It is often then brought to a distribution facility for transloading. This process has team members taking apart pallets and repalletizing items for efficient delivery to the same location. With crossdocking, pallets themselves are moved onto trucks going in the same direction or to the same location for efficiency.
  • White glove service: High value or complex items may benefit from white glove service. For example, you may need someone to not only deliver new furniture and displays for a new store but also to come into the store and help to set up the items. When it comes to home delivery, white glove service is also a special touch customers appreciate. It often includes scheduled deliveries, so your team members at a store or customers at home will know exactly when to expect their shipment.
  • Expedited shipping: When it comes to time sensitive projects, like a store opening or seasonal display, expedited shipping is a great option. The speed of the shipment depends on what it is and how far it is coming from, but we always stay on target for deadlines.

Is There Retail Logistics Software?

Our cloud based customer portal is the perfect solution for tracking our retail logistics projects together. It includes a transportation management system and a warehouse management system all rolled into one. Everything is fully trackable so you can locate your shipments and see their status in real time. The portal is based in the cloud, meaning you can log in from your computer or mobile device anywhere you have service or a wifi connection. Through the portal, you can book and track shipments, place orders, generate reports, see important documents, view customer information, and set up push notifications. This portal is a key component of the success of a supply chain management project.

Your Retail Logistics Partner

Looking for a reliable partner in the retail logistics industry? Read our success stories to learn how we have helped other retailers, including major national and international brands, with complex projects. Contact us to learn more about how we can work together.

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