Last week we were delighted to attend Marketforce’s Leaders in Logistics: Last Mile Delivery conference at Stamford Bridge in London. The conference was a showcase of innovation and evolution at logistics’ final frontier: the last mile, and was attended by industry representatives from established parcel carriers, logistics tech disruptors, retail innovators and policymakers.
The theme of the day, last mile innovation and transformation, is something that has always been a core facet of Parcelly’s identity and ideology; as such we were honoured to be invited to speak at the event. Our CEO Sebastian presented to the audience on the subject of collaboration within the logistics industry, a topic that was also explored in research from Transport For London.
Parcelly CEO Sebastian on stage (image source: Marketforce)
The day kicked off with a keynote speech from Dr Clemens Beckmann of DHL, focused on the idea of keeping pace with an ever-changing technological landscape. This subject was then expounded on in a series of case studies from the likes of Omniva, Posten Norge, and UPS. Gunnar Inderberg, Head of Value Chain Development at Posten Norge, presented autonomous delivery solutions that the Norwegian postal service is exploring to meet modern day efficiency challenges, whilst Andre Veskimeister of Estonian logistics company Omniva showcased their locker technology designed to suit the needs of the Estonian market, where “introverted customers prefer lockers over any other delivery option”.
Later in the day there were several roundtables and panel discussions, including an informative conversation between Natalie Frow of DHL Supply Chain, Graeme Carter of Avon and Irene Keay of eBay, which focused on customer-centric advancements. Above all, a key takeaway from this session was that convenience remains the core driver of innovative delivery and return options - understanding the modern customer is critical to the design of innovative logistics solutions.
Panel discussion on Countering the threat of Amazon, Alibaba and eBay: Co-operation as a means of survival (image source: Parcelly)
The final section of the conference had a clear focus on collaboration. Sebastian’s aforementioned presentation showcased the collaborative approach that has been core to our hyper-local warehousing solutions, and following this Sebastian was joined by Patrick Gallagher of CitySprint, Alan Barrie from TFL and Dr Dieter Bambauer from Swiss Post for a panel discussion on Countering the threat of Amazon, Alibaba and eBay: Co-operation as a means of survival. The panel discussed how smaller retailers and delivery operators can challenge the market share of the three biggest players, specifically within the context of innovation and collaboration. The key takeaway from this final session was that collaboration has never been easier, and should be embraced. Cooperation amongst logistics companies allows coping with the growth in delivery volumes whilst easing pressure on margins and optimising the use of assets.
Tom Rice, Transport For London on stage (image source: Parcelly)
FAVOURITE QUOTES OF THE DAY
Graeme Carter, Group Vice President, Service Excellence & Distribution at Avon on making the most out of pre-established infrastructure: “We are using passenger coaches in Argentina as infrastructure to distribute goods to PUDO locations which are the bus stops”
Natalie Frow, of DHL Supply Chain on the motives behind innovation: “As a carrier, we need to continuously develop our product and service offering for our customers to offer the best possible consumer experience”
Tom Rice, Planning and Delivery Lead at Transport for London presenting the key stats behind London’s last mile: “The average distance a parcel travels on a delivery to Central London is 32.51 miles.”
SUMMARY OF THE DAY
Whilst the conference showcased amazing innovations occurring across wildly different areas of logistics, one overarching idea from the conference was clear: innovation is essential, not optional. International and domestic examples showcased how local authority policy is shaping tech change within logistics, for established players and startups alike. Along with the continued growth of ecommerce, shifting consumer attitudes and greater environmental awareness mean logistics and retail companies need to adapt to keep pace, both with each other and with the demands of the modern age.
A big shout out to Marketforce for putting together the event and bringing together so many important industry decision makers. #parcellove