2021 was another year of massive growth for the warehousing industry. Online retailers became accustomed to handling yet larger volumes and clicking ‘buy it now’ the established norm for the consumer.
Despatch Cloud, the cloud-based warehousing and delivery solution specialist for e-commerce, saw its services in huge demand following the surge in online orders. Matthew Dunne (pictured), founder and CTO, believes that 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for fulfilment and warehousing, but he is quick to highlight the issues that are holding the sector back from colossal growth.
Fulfilment and warehousing
“Sadly, capacity issues restricted some businesses across the sector in 2021, but these should hopefully be resolved in the coming year, and with the continued likely growth of e-commerce,” comments Dunne.
When it comes to physical warehouses, he cites: “Two kinds of warehouses are emerging to cater for the growing requirement for space and different needs of the industry and the consumer. The demand for mega warehouses is still high with significant numbers of construction projects planned in 2022. Meanwhile there is an explosive growth in mini warehouses in central locations within cities, which enable the same day delivery of common items.”
He believes that due to continued e-commerce growth, 2022 will see the ongoing trend of warehouse automation, from cobots to a fully automated warehouse. He adds: “The cost savings of automated warehouses will impact the industry greatly. Whether 2022 will be the tipping point remains to be seen, but the trend is clear.”
“Due to the pandemic, we have witnessed 5-7 years of growth compressed into the last two years. Whilst we expect, and hope, that the world will head towards stability and normality in 2022, the move to online shopping is not one we or our clients expect to reverse,” adds Dunne.
“We are expecting to see increased sales through social media platforms in the 12 months ahead. Rumours continue to swirl around Meta (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and the potential ability to monetise the huge traffic volumes on social media apps into more value-added services.
“C-commerce (chat commerce) where you can ask to be shown items which are then sent to your phone for you to browse, select and purchase, is predicted to break into Europe and the UK soon.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking to buy from smaller firms, with local and/or ethical connections. Now is the time where traditional bricks and mortar shops must go online, leveraging another fulfilment trend.
“With the rapid emergence of same-day delivery companies, same-day, or even more rapid, delivery is becoming more of an expectation within bigger cities, bringing us full-circle to today’s warehousing and fulfilment needs.
“Retailers must seize the moment or risk being left behind.”