April 4th 2012
Impact of E-commerce on transport and logistics
Table of content
E-commerce and business
Evolution and forecast of E-commerce
Impacts on the supply chain
Problem raised by E-commerce
Reaction and adaptation of companies
Click and mortars
Order reception and preparation
Transport and traceability
Since 2000 a lot of factors have changed the face of logistics in companies. Many were forced to change their entire process and proceeded to total reengineering rather than changing components one by one. We will here try to focus on the impact of e-commerce on the transports and logistics, even though changes occurred over merchandise control, information and financial flows.
Supply chain and more precisely logistics are now part of the entire business model and not only considered as a cost-minimizing element of the companies business. It became part of the core business and a source of profitability because it was a determinant to how goods were purchased and consumed by customers.
Internet as part of our daily lives has driven innovations at a pace never seen before, making everything available through a single click. Business to consumer sales channels are exploding and many companies are trying to cut intermediaries. Nothing remains just an access to information or a screen to a physical shop, all products are now available online.
E-commerce has taken its full dimension with online auctions. It has existed through two dimensions. The first one concerns the nature of the parties involved in the exchange, defining whether it is B2B or B2C. The second dimension defines the transactional nature with Sell-side servers, which are storefronts or catalogues allowing purchase of items through online selection. Buy-side servers allow purchase orders to be entered. Finally marketplaces are electronic communities that can be entered by buyers and sellers following well established business rules.
In a first time we will see how e-commerce changed the way of doing business by modifying the habits of the companies and the consumers In a second time we will study the impacts of e-commerce on the logistics and how companies have reacted to that. Finally we will see how the transport industry reacted to the new delivery challenges and the problems emerging from them.
2. E-commerce and business
The new entrants, the modification of commercialization methods, the different relations between buyers and sellers, e-commerce shook up the traditional function of the markets. In fact, e-commerce has been undergoing a two-digit growth since 10 years and does not seem to be impacted by the crisis like other sectors. However its full impact and the modification on the entire economy are yet to be seen.
E-commerce is not made only through Internet; there are other forms that lean on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), such as ODETTE for the automotive industry or EAN-COM for mass distribution products. E-commerce includes all activities from promotion and commercial offers, to ordering, payments tenders for goods and services.
In this part we will study two forms of e-commerce: B2B and B2C. A. B2C E-commerce
Progressively the relation client-supplier has been modified. The Internet client is much more picky when it comes to delivery, whether it is regarding the delay or the integrity of the ordered goods.
Moreover, Internet leads to higher expectation from the customers such as order follow up and tracking that requires introduction of new technologies to be able to track shipments at all times not only when they are at the charge of the...
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