To improve the environmental sustainability of e-commerce, proximity delivery/collection points could be established
This is proposed by the Freight Leaders Council, which highlights the strong impact that online purchases have on logistics and the environment
November 23, 2021
The association noted that Black Friday (November 26) and the following Cyber Monday (29 November), in preparation for the Christmas, have always been highly appreciated by consumers and producers, because they are unique opportunities to do business and, at the same time, empty the warehouses of unsold stocks. This year, however, - specified the FLC - the situation is very different and in 2021, among the least visible mechanisms at the final consumer, logistics processes will have a significant weight in the determination of prices and discounts, in the times of delivery and impact on the environment.
"Promotional events such as Black Friday - he noted the president of the Freight Leaders Council, Massimo Marciani - trigger a huge spike in demand, to which is added the flow of returns, but only for a limited period, while the effect of this activity on logistics operations is huge. In Anglo-Saxon countries, for example, many companies have decided to do not adhere to the promotional frenzy because of the massive inefficiency that this spot event causes to ordinary management of its business, as well as the increase in costs for the hiring of workers and for the rental of additional storage'.
All this while e-commerce meanwhile is overwhelmingly acquiring significant market shares. The Freight Leaders Council has confirmed that also in Italy the modalities of Consumer purchases are rapidly changing, a trend also accelerated by the pandemic emergency, and it is fast moving from the physical purchasing channel, with about one million commercial establishments served by periodic supplies, planned and rational towards known addresses, to a channel online that affects about 28.5 million people and therefore 28.5 millions of addresses (often unknown) with random orders, generally for the next day and, in some cases, for the day same. There are 9 thousand - highlighted the FLC - the shops that have closed its doors last year and, at the same time, sales at the detail on the internet grew by 85% compared to 2019 and 38% compared to 2020. The sector is now worth 40 billion euros with a penetration of 10% of the total.
"We absolutely cannot think - Marciani clarified - to counter this trend, but rather we must help the consumers to push brands to adopt sustainability principles (not only environmental) in a clear and open way. If a customer online out of three choose the platform where to make purchases based on the delivery/collection options, then it means that the real lever of marketing of the next few years will be logistics».
"The race to online shopping - added Marciani - feeds the logistics of whim, putting stress on the whole distribution system, forced to respond to delivery times reduced, often unnecessary, which generate an increase in levels pollution, packaging consumption, congestion and urban accidents. Consumers should know also the consequences of requiring fast rhythms, it would be appropriate consider more sustainable delivery models for the economic and environmental system'."
"It is necessary - underlined the president of Freight Leaders Council - making consumers aware of the impact that generate with compulsive online purchase, with delivery instantaneous and with returns. All this is never free nor irrelevant in terms of pollution of our cities and of our planet. An intermediate solution could be that to return to consolidate orders, if not at the start, at least in delivery, through the use of delivery/collection points of proximity. In addition, it is absolutely necessary raise consumer awareness, put them in a position to carry out a conscious choice using honest logistics operators, ethical and environmentally conscious, paid the right price for the service rendered. Only in this way the future of the sales channel online can be sustainable».
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