Last year was one unlike any we’ve seen before. It was filled with uncertainty, unrest, and change. However, the logistics industry helped keep the economy running by delivering essential items to people despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, this success was not without its challenges, from lockdowns to employees working from home to a carrier capacity crunch to changing eCommerce and retail buying habits. Parcel delivery emerged as a lifeline to those forced to remain home. Through it all, Transtream multi-carrier parcel management solution helped shippers not only survive but thrive in what is becoming a new normal in logistics. Here is a look back at some of the biggest challenges and changes that led to successful shipping in 2020.

The Rise of Regional Carriers Requires the Right Multi-Carrier Management Solution

Although it was all the news this past holiday season that the carrier capacity crunch brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on carriers’ shipping efficiencies, it didn’t come as news to eCommerce logistics professionals. Trying to make up the profits lost on less-profitable retail home deliveries, carriers have been applying peak surcharges for months now. With volumes not expected to wane anytime soon because of vaccine distributions, retail shippers are looking for ways to meet their customers’ high expectations and keep their profit margins intact at the same time.  Many are engaging same-day, last-mile carrier delivery services.

Retailers, eCommerce Players Turn to a Multi-Carrier Shipping Strategy to Beat the Carrier Crunch

A perfect storm pushed parcel volumes to unprecedented heights the past year. However, with a second COVID wave upon us and a third building as a result of holiday activities, new consumer shopping habits leading to new retail shipping volumes have left parcel carriers warning shippers that they may not be able to handle their volumes due to the severe strain on their capacity. That’s why, from now on, it will be more critical than ever for shippers to have a multi-carrier parcel management solution and strategy in place to diversify their carrier portfolio and help manage delivery disruption risks.

Work-from-Home May Keep Working for Companies

For those lucky enough to be able to work from home over the last 10 months, the next few may be more of the same. Even as the economy tries to re-open, several companies are considering keeping their remote employees at home for the long-term.

While technology tools can handle many of the day-to-day communications needs, there will always be a need to ship samples, documents, and more. Employees that counted on a centralized mailroom or shipping department are often left on their own to ship from home offices making even routine shipments more difficult, and possibly wasting time and money.

Omnichannel Shipping Fulfillment Model Becoming the New Normal Post COVID-19

COVID-19 has accelerated what was already a well-established trend: a shift from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to eCommerce fulfillment. All supply chain partners, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, have been served notice that direct-to-consumer (D2C) omnichannel fulfillment strategy is the new normal that they would be wise to embrace.

As 2021 begins, no one can fully predict what is to come in the logistics industry. We feel that no matter what the New Year normal is, Transtream multi-carrier parcel management solution will help our customers ship prosperously this year and beyond.