To remain competitive and meet the demands of consumers, many food retailers are joining forces with 3PLs to make their supply chain as efficient as possible. One way to do this is by incorporating cutting-edge technology into the supply chain.
Factors Changing the Landscape: Amazon, Meal Kits
Amazon’s market share of online grocery sales in the US was double that of Walmart last year, according to One Click Retail. Amazon gained hundreds of brick and mortar stores nationwide and a robust network of conditioned facilities when they acquired Whole Foods. This allows Amazon to position its products as close to the end-consumer as possible and have fulfillment centers for Amazon Fresh subscription service around the country. This combination of infrastructure and resources supports the new reality of the e-commerce business model, which is characterized by higher frequency shipments of lower volumes of product, as opposed to the traditional retail model of high volume shipments at lower frequencies.
Meal kits represent another threat and opportunity in the food logistics space. The meal kits industry has skyrocketed to $2.2 billion in recent years. The bottom line is that traditional brick and mortar food retailers of our childhoods are presented with more challenges than ever.
How 3PLs Help Retail Food Industry
Logistics has become a critical organizational piece for businesses. Supply chain efficiency can make or break a company’s success. To get a leg up on the competition, logistics leaders should seek a 3PL like East Coast Transport that can utilize the following tactics to accommodate their needs in this changing and competitive marketplace:
- Assisting suppliers with meeting the stringent and costly compliance requirements of large retailers such as Walmart and Target
- 3PLs that use technology solutions to provide real-time tracking, business intelligence, and strategic insights. Working with a 3PL, a shipper can gain immediate access to technology with little- to no-cost and much shorter implementation.
- 3PLs offer exceptional flexibility, agility and provide access to capacity that can exceed that of asset-based providers
3PLs, like East Coast Transport, are developing technology and methods to automate freight quoting, tracking, and servicing, which in turn drives value for shippers and carriers through improved accuracy, enhanced service, and increased shipment velocity. When food retailers are working in tandem with a formidable 3PL, they are equipped to survive changes in the marketplace and continue to compete, grow and thrive.