Surface transportation is the movement of people or goods by road, train, or ship, excluding air transportation. While there are several ways that e-commerce has had an effect on UK surface transportation, the impact can be narrowed down to four main areas.
A distribution pattern is one of them. Consumers no longer need to leave the house in order to purchase items, whether it is groceries, household items, clothes, electronic devices, or jewelry. From different brands, models, price points, to sizes, almost anything you need can be purchased via e-commerce platforms.
While people are relying on e-commerce platforms to have products delivered to their doorstep, the e-commerce businesses themselves may not have their own delivery services. This could be due to the fact that maintaining shipping services for one’s business is a costly affair but also because they may not have the network or manpower to create a wide network required for a parcel delivery service.
Cargo services to India and other Asian countries from the UK can be costly and an e-commerce platform cannot incorporate shipping cargo services to India or other Asian countries to their services if, for instance, a customer wants to send a parcel to Sri Lanka.
In addition to this, an e-commerce company may not see the need to develop its own delivery arm when there are several freight forwarding companies and shipping services that provide an excellent service, with quick delivery.
Thus the growth of e-commerce platforms and businesses can be linked to the growth of the parcel delivery service sector as well as UK surface transportation.
Whether an e-commerce platform has its own delivery armor uses a network of parcel delivery service and freight forwarding services, there is a need for vertical integration. Strategies must be developed and implemented to integrate sortation centres, pickup points, freight forwarders UK, and delivery companies.
This integration is vital for e-commerce businesses as it will streamline processes, ensure customer satisfaction, and reduce the number of possible issues that can spring up between an order being placed and the product being delivered to the customer.
With convenient shopping platforms and quick and efficient delivery, vendors are finding that it is more financially viable to maintain online stores rather than physical retail outlets. Several chain retailers are reducing their retail footprint and are instead of improving their e-commerce platforms.
While retail footprint reductions, however, e-commerce platforms are relying more on delivery companies and freight forwarding services. They may also use shipping services for international orders instead of expanding their branch network to those countries. For instance, a vendor can use cargo services to India or send a parcel to Sri Lanka with the use of freight forwarders UK instead of having to invest in those markets by increasing their real estate footprint.
This has been made possible, for the most part, because UK surface transportation has been able to meet the demands of e-commerce by offering a range of services. These could include different delivery methods, whether it is by sea or road, as well as tracking or express delivery options.
It is also important to note that businesses are using their physical retail outlets as warehouses, showrooms, and pickup locations, thus maximising on the space available to them.
According to Statista, all e-commerce sales in the United Kingdom amounted to 688.4 billion GBP in 2018. This is an increase of slightly over 100 billion GBP since 2017. While there are several factors that have contributed to this increase in e-commerce sales, when looking at how e-commerce has affected UK surface transportation, it is safe to assume that better online customer experience and quick and efficient shipping services will attract more customers to online stores.
However, quick delivery and efficient service by freight forwarding services and shipping services mean that there can be no delays on the retailer’s part. E-commerce retailers may thus invest in improved warehouse facilities and technology that improves the storage of items so that retrieving them when orders are placed is not a time-consuming task.
The need for increased storage facilities as well as clear and precise inventory and cataloging has risen with the growing number of sales e-commerce businesses are seeing.While e-commerce has affected UK surface transportation in these ways, the impact has resulted in the need for increased regulations imposed on delivery companies and freight forwarders UK, whether they are used for domestic deliveries or international deliveries, for instance, to send a parcel to Sri Lanka.