Over the past couple of decades, globalization and industrialization have played a key role in transforming supply chain models and logistics across the perishable goods space. Logistics strategies have evolved with advancements in technology, as companies continue to seek different ways to optimize their supply chain framework of certain food products with a limited life span. In recent years, the pursuit of efficient transportation and logistics in the food & beverages sector has led to the adoption of cross-docking services. Cross-docking services are increasingly being utilized across the flourishing e-Commerce sector across the world to minimize delivery times– a factor that is expected to provide a solid foundation for growth of the global cross docking services market during the forecast period.
The logistics sector is evolving at a rapid pace, owing to several factors, including advancements in technology, evolving consumer habits, and the booming e-Commerce sector. Warehouse processes and management techniques have also witnessed considerable transformation over the past decade due to which, cross-docking services are likely to gain considerable traction in the upcoming years. While some companies rely on cross-docking services upon requirement, several companies are increasingly deploying cross-docking services on a permanent basis. Cross-docking services are increasingly being used across a host of industrial sectors, including food & beverages, automotive, pharmaceuticals, paper, pulp, defense & aerospace, and healthcare. At the back of these factors, the global cross docking services market is expected to attain a market value of ~US$ 340 Bn by the end of 2030.
Cross Docking – An Ideal Solution to Optimize Logistics Operations
Order fulfilling techniques have come a long way over the past few decades. At present, cross docking has emerged as an effective strategy that is increasingly being deployed for distribution and logistics operations of consumer goods. Several companies around the world are using cross-docking services to enhance their warehousing operations. Companies operating in the pharmaceutical sector wherein mass distribution is critical are relying on cross-docking services to strengthen their foothold in the cross docking services market.
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For instance, Roche Diagnostics, one of the top tier pharmaceutical companies, continues to deploy cross-docking services to enhance efficiency levels of the distribution center based in Barcelona. Although e-Commerce and food & beverages sectors are likely to present abundant lucrative opportunities to the participants operating in the current cross docking services market, over the past few years, the pharmaceutical sector continues to implement automated and cross docking warehousing systems, particularly for medication that is stored in controlled temperatures and swift & efficient supply of stock.
Evolving Consumer Demand and e-Commerce Sector Propel Demand for Cross-docking Services
The past couple of years have witnessed an exponential growth of the e-Commerce sector as online sales continue to skyrocket. As the number of e-Commerce customers continues to grow at a rapid pace, logistics companies are striving hard to fulfill the orders in the most efficient and time-efficient manner. At the back of the evolving consumer trends, the retail sector is also witnessing a considerable change due to which, last-mile delivery strategies have emerged as a critical differentiator among logistics companies.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a host of supply chain challenges across a host of industrial sectors. The food & beverages sector, along with the retail sector are expected be marred with a host of challenges put forward by the COVID-19 event. Challenges across the supply chain wherein distribution and transportation are integral components require a swift response due to which, the demand for cross-docking services is likely to witness considerable growth.
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While some retailers are primarily dependent on storage short-term storage solutions, other players within the retail space are increasingly focusing on deploying the most ideal cross-docking services to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Imports from the Asia Pacific region, particularly China have declined in the first half of 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan. However, the demand is expected to gain pace over the second half of 2020 when normalcy is restored.
Key Growth Drivers of Cross Docking Services Market
- Increasing Importance and Dependence on IT & Digitization in Shipping Industry: Dependence on IT & digitization in almost every segment is increasing. IT & digitization in the logistics industry has optimized operations and enhanced the business of companies. It enables the market to be driven by a structured vision by integrating business potential with networking. Carriers are installing IT systems in the business to gradually enhance the business, which they need to do to sustain in this competitive world. According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), autonomous ships, drones, and various blockchain applications with the help of IT are driving the demand for solutions related to logistics management. Digitization has drastically improved efficiencies of shipping companies by enabling the integration of artificial intelligence technologies, blockchain, Internet of Things, and robotics with shipping models. The growing dependence on IT and adoption of IT technologies is driving the growth of the cross docking services market.
- Rising Importance of Customer Satisfaction: Shipping companies are more focused on customer satisfaction and customer engagement. Client retention is the key to expand rapidly and gain a competitive edge compared to other players. Client focus is crucial in the marine freight industry as it is a service industry where client responsiveness and intangible assets need to be measured and appropriate steps need to be taken. For instance, in July 2017, Maersk launched a remote container management program for customers, which would provide location and tracking of refrigerated containers throughout its journey. Such programs and solutions are designed due to increased importance of client retention and customer satisfaction. Digitization has enhanced transparency and enabled better response to customer needs which could help shipping companies to cater more appropriately to customer needs. Medium competition in the market and the growing importance of customer satisfaction is expected to drive the cross docking services market.