In 2021, it was reported that worldwide supermarkets and neighborhood stores recorded a total of $1.38 million in grocery sales. It is projected that all channels will increase sales, with e-commerce having the highest growth. In terms of the grocery market, it is projected that the value will reach $306.99 billion by 2027 .
Over time there has been an increase in the grocery logistics industry's challenges, especially with the rise in online sales and demands for delivery, leading to consumers needing the cheapest delivery form. Thereby putting pressure on the suppliers/retailers to provide affordable delivery costs. In an ever-changing transportation environment, overcoming regular interruptions will increase throughput and optimize the revenues of businesses.
Here are some common challenges in grocery logistics and technology solution suggestions.
The risk of spoilage
The risk of spoiling is the single most important challenge that grocers and F&B shippers face. Most grocery items that are fresh produce require faster and quicker delivery as when food sits in a grocery distribution center or in long load lines, whole loads might spoil, costing everyone time and money.
There are two important solutions to the problem of food logistics delays. The first one is to preserve the grocery items by preserving them in a reefer or another climate-controlled transport system to maintain their value during delays. Or, you can avoid the risk of spoilage by automating home deliveries by using an AI route planner as it will provide you with the most efficient route for your fleet. It enables faster and more accurate route optimization, saving time spent making manual routes.
Poor visibility resulting in delayed deliveries
It is critical to have clear visibility across the supply chain to ensure a safe and timely shipment from one end to the other. Without it, businesses risk many inefficiencies, which can result in delays, damage, or loss of shipments.
The solution is to put trust in technology to provide transparency throughout the shipping process to keep a competitive edge. Delivery management software gives transparency to carriers and their clients throughout the delivery process.
A delivery management software can solve this hassle by monitoring routes and deliveries with advanced command & control capabilities. It has an early prediction of missed deliveries which enables quick action to mitigate issues that can arise on the road (unexpected delays at customer locations, bad traffic, etc.)
Limited controls of the final mile remain
Manual scheduling and route planning does not give grocery managers sufficient control over last-mile delivery and shipping as they have limited influence over last-mile shipping and delivery tracking. It is not easy to deliver fresh groceries to the right customer on time.
Route optimization software can automate your last-mile delivery by choosing the best route for your fleet and by enabling faster and more accurate route optimization saving on time spent making manual routes. Norma route optimization software allows you to automate last-mile delivery as it considers the warehouse location, delivery location, and traffic rules to determine the most effective route. Read our blog on The Impact of Technology on Last-Mile Grocery Delivery
Returns are a pain for retailers to deal with as Grocery stores throw returned grocery items by customers because of some liability reasons (Covid 19). However, retailers can limit or even profit from returns if they are handled correctly.
Route optimization software can help grocery managers in handling the returns as it assigns the right number of vehicles, meets delivery deadlines, cuts down on service times, cuts costs, and saves time.
Growing grocery businesses need a plan with clearly defined goals and aspirations. This is the time for grocery managers to automate processes in the last mile and adopt new technologies, to solve all their challenges starting from the risk of spoilage, Poor visibility resulting in delayed deliveries, and Limited controls of the final mile remain to the Returned Items.
To conclude, adopting new technologies can transform your grocery logistics operations and will help you rise above your competitors. For more details on how technology can impact the grocery industry, feel free to request a one-to-one live demo, and one of our experts will be happy to call you back to discuss your requirements in detail.