Rise of e-commerce means new logistics for perishables

Mon 04/12/2017 by Richard Wilkinson

With consumers wanting their products faster and cheaper, the market for perishables is changing. To meet the higher expectations, retailers need to adapt their perishables logistics. Even potatoes are now being air freighted, despite their weight. Transporters now need to learn about the requirements for products that they are not used to carrying, meaning producers and freighters need to collaborate more closely.

These changing expectations are driven by the rise of e-commerce. Indeed, online giant, Amazon, has recently entered the market. But even Amazon will have to rely on supply chain providers for the things it cannot do.

The consequences are that profit margins are shrinking for everyone. Suggested remedies include more direct transport involving fewer stages and handlers­. Rather than flying all of Europe’s perishable imports via the Netherlands – which handles 80% of the total – leisure flights can be used between South America and Europe as they are more efficient.

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