Nowadays, many online retailers worldwide were not prepared for the sudden shift to online purchasing and recurrently facing many consequences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany, almost 60 percent of the e-retailers are burdened by delays in delivery of their goods. Increased orders coupled with a high number of unavailable or sick labour resources have caused delivery times to rise, leaving customers wondering when their goods will arrive. We expect consequences for other e-commerce companies worldwide to be similar to those in Germany.
Labour not being available has a big impact on delivery times being met. These impacts have been felt ever harder in Europe, as many East-Europeans normally doing seasonal work in West-Europe have gone home and can’t return to their seasonal jobs. Because of COVID-19, the fulfillment sector could face a dramatic shortfall in seasonal workers as a consequence of border restrictions put in place to stem the spread of Coronavirus. Also, a longer period of uncertainty and quarantine can cause unrest among employees, similar to what Amazon is facing. Workers at Amazon are demanding shutdowns of warehouses for fear of contracting the virus from coworkers. On time and sufficient labour availability will be one of the biggest challenges for the e-fulfillment industry worldwide in the short term. Even if there are enough workers available, how do companies respect social distancing recommendations without losing productivity, especially in the packaging area which is typically a bottleneck?
That being said, we are all living in a period of flux. While experts predict we are facing a longer period of social distancing, we don’t really know if the virus has a seasonal pattern similar to that of the flu or a viable vaccine that can be available on a large scale before 2022.
As companies try their best to adapt to these strange times, online and offline retailers are urged to act now and prepare for future or sudden peaks in online purchasing. E-commerce retailers of all sizes have to consider their online sales capability, consult with their logistics teams and partner with their courier networks to be prepared for a significant jump in home deliveries.
But how can this be done? Automation is a great place to start. Automating the crucial parts of the supply chain gives retailers the ability to upsize or downsize order processing capacity when necessary without additional costs.
The packaging area is one of the most labour-intensive parts of the fulfillment process. In addition, with the 1.5 meter social distancing rule, the situation gets even more difficult. In many warehouses there are not enough packing workstations to keep up with order throughput. The case for automated packaging is solid, especially when faced with trying to support your customers’ needs along with the needs of your own employees.
Solve the packaging bottleneck with the two CVP Automated Packaging Solutions from Packaging by Quadient. The CVP Impack packs up to 500 parcels per hour requiring only one operator while the CVP Everest auto-packs 1,100+ parcels per hour and uses two operators. These solutions are game changers as they offer 50% reduction in shipping volume, 29% reduction in corrugate usage and eliminate the need for void fillers, increasing your bottom line and ROI opportunities.
Customers of the CVP Automated Packaging Solutions have navigated the COVID-19 situation with ease and are prepared for future situations of sudden order increases. Don’t find yourself unprepared for the next shift in demand and explore the possibilities and benefits of a CVP Automated Packaging Solution.