supply chain management consulting

The Best Time for the Shared Economy within Supply Chain

The Best Time for the Shared Economy within Supply Chain

SUMMARY: For most people, the shared economy is best illustrated by the Uber and AirBnB concept of crowdsourcing and convenience services based on digital platforms. In logistics and supply chain management, however, transport and warehousing are the most significant sharing processes thanks to a welter of economic benefits for all parties—and the trend is accelerating despite the dampening effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistics providers are driving the shared economy within the supply chain, offering shared services to customers such as higher filling rates of transport vehicles, better utilisation of warehousing space, reduced logistics costs, and/or a lower carbon footprint. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, 15 percent of trucking will be via shared transport platforms and shared warehousing will comprise 20 percent of the market. In whatever form it takes, the shared economy will to a large extent shape the way we do business in future. For most people, the shared economy (also known as the gig economy) is best illustrated by the Uber and AirBnB concept of crowdsourcing and convenience services based on digital platforms. The technologies and business models supporting these platforms are also being applied to logistics and supply chain management, especially across activities such as warehousing, transportation, and shipping—with astonishing success. Why Businesses, Large and Small, Think it’s Fair to Share Logistics providers, both 3PL and 4PL, are driving the shared economy within the supply chain, offering shared services to customers such as higher filling rates of transport vehicles, better utilisation of warehouse space, reduced logistics costs, and/or a lower carbon footprint. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, 15 percent of trucking will be via shared transport platforms, and shared warehousing will comprise 20 percent of the market. To get a better understanding of how the shared economy works within the supply chain, let’s take a look at some examples: Example #1: Amazon Flex With the growing trend towards online shopping,  e-commerce giant Amazon in 2015 turned to independent contractors—basically anyone with a car—to deliver parcels to homes and businesses. The service, known as Amazon Flex, takes care of a portion of the company’s last-mile deliveries which, with some five billion items delivered each year, is beyond the capabilities of standard delivery companies. Since its launch in the United States, the Amazon Flex system has spread into many parts of the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America....

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