Prime retail location has always been defined by access to the highest number of walk-in customers, which is why retailers gladly pay a premium for location within a mall, proximity to another larger retailer, a major landmark or generally wherever their ideal customers are.
But in the world of online retail, the store is on a computer or mobile device and the customer could be at their home in Beverly Hills or an auto parts warehouse in Bayonne. The ability to deliver to that location rapidly and reliably means that logistics, not geography, provides the new definition of “prime location.”
Square Mile is the New Square Foot
Success in retail is typically measured in Sales per Square Foot. In a brick-and-mortar environment this still matters, but in e-commerce sales it’s virtually irrelevant. Instead, it’s time to start paying attention to Sales per Square Mile. Leading retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have been attempting to address this trade-off between stores and distribution centers, and they will ultimately get it right, but not without support from their logistics providers. The shop floor isn’t just inside a store anymore, it’s inside an entire county or city. Logistics is the catalyst.
Not Just the “Last Mile”
So if home delivery is important to retailers and their customers, what does this mean to the freight forwarders, NVOCC’s, customs brokers and various other entities who ensure there’s always product available in the market? Ultimately, everything. If companies like Amazon, Seamless, and Uber are focused on delivering to their customers’ doorsteps, then it’s obvious that large lots shipped via ocean and bulk containers to & from key overseas markets have to be moved faster just to keep up with the demands of today’s e-commerce retailers and consumers.
Adopting technological solutions that shorten the time it takes to get a container rate, make a booking, process documentation, and clear customs will add value to the existing logistics companies who already have the knowledge and relationships to make the world’s goods move. This makes them more valuable than ever before to the customers for whom they manage logistics.
Download the free CoLoadX whitepaper, "Logistics as a Service: How it Will Transform Your Ocean Freight Business" and see how LaaS will help your company grow.