Research shows that the increase in global online shopping almost doubled in 2020, while predicted sector growth is linked to continued development in digital shopping expansion and improvements for both businesses and consumers in the pandemic context. As challenges for parcel delivery companies to process the record customer traffic persist, the need to ensure safe and high-quality services will remain.
Economists advise that the unusual global situation has accelerated the growth of the e-commerce sector by 5 years and this year the revenues of e-commerce in global markets will grow by at least 17%. Venipak, an international parcel delivery service provider, reports that the quantity of parcels has remained at a high level from the onset of the new year, with a 50% increase in deliveries in Lithuania in January compared to the same period last year.
With the projected growth in parcel traffic by at least 20% in Q1 2021, there is an irreversible change in the parcel delivery service processes, including the deployment of technologies and expansion of services.
The parcel quantities for end-users remain high
According to Venipak, with the propelled shift to e-commerce in 2020, the parcel traffic to end-users increased by nearly 70% in Lithuania. The increase in customers of the B2C sector in 2021 motivates delivery service providers to further address the challenges of the last mile logistics such as the real-time parcel tracking, choice of delivery options, and implementation of automated processes.
Meanwhile, the growth in demand by the B2C sector has also generated the need for the same-day deliveries, which makes it the area of improvement that will likely dominate the parcel delivery company competitive trends, to match customer and end-user preferences in this sector.
“So far, the main promise of parcel delivery service providers to clients or consumers has frequently been the next-day delivery service. This year, this priority will remain, but the consumer and end-user expectations encourage us to make a step forward and focus on same-day delivery services, whenever feasible. The ability to plan for a smooth delivery, while having full and convenient access to several delivery options are the most prominent consumer behaviour trends when ordering the delivery of a parcel,” Justas Šablinskas, General Manager of Venipak, said.
Expansion of the parcel delivery network
The growing demand for omni-channel services, which provide flexible access to a wide range of delivery options, poses challenges for parcel delivery service providers in finding effective ways to meet customers’ expectations.
As the market is changing irreversibly, the development of parcel pick-up points will remain a highly competitive factor among delivery companies, ensuring that consumers can collect their parcels in the most convenient locations.
“Last year, parcel delivery market players took some important steps that significantly changed the market. In order to meet new customer needs, postal terminal networks expanded very rapidly in Lithuania. Additional options to deliver parcels were also initiated, especially during the holiday peak when new all-time highs were reached,” Šablinskas said. “Investment in the parcel delivery infrastructure and digital technologies, as well as the search for more convenient locations for parcel terminals will remain the focus of the last mile logistics both in terms of investment return and meeting strategic goals in the long term.”
Automation of parcel delivery
It is projected that this year both consumers and businesses worldwide will continue to follow newly-formed trading habits, so in addition to greater flexibility in the provision of services, logistics companies are investing in automation of processes and warehousing.
According to Šablinskas, investment in new technologies will help not only to cope with a surge in parcel volumes, but also to ensure the rapidly developing health safety awareness, which is expected to remain even after the pandemic.
“Health safety requirements motivated the parcel delivery companies to increase the use of technologies while providing their services. Over the course of last year, the contactless door-to-door delivery, or other contactless parcel collection options have become an integral part of our services, which also have shaped customer habits, so the future is unimaginable without these options. Since we do not know exactly how long the pandemic and the ensuing situation will persist, it is likely that businesses will continue to actively seek and apply innovative solutions to improve service this year, regardless of the changing circumstances,” Šablinskas noted.
Deployment of technologies, prioritizing services that are in demand, and strengthening business initiatives this year will be of particular benefit to the entire market, because this will not only expand the delivery alternatives to consumers, but will also contribute to the recovery of the economy after the pandemic fatigue.
About the Venipak Group
Founded in 2004, the international parcel delivery company, Venipak, offers efficient parcel logistics solutions to businesses and private customers in the Baltic states, Poland, Germany, the USA and China. Each year, the company improves its courier services, invests in technological solutions for e-commerce, and expands its parcel delivery network. Currently, nearly 600 parcel collection points are available for customers in the Baltic states. With annual revenues of up to EUR 50 million, Venipak plans to develop a network of nearly 2,000 postal terminals and parcel pick-up points over the next few years, and to become one of the largest parcel delivery networks in the Baltics.