Greater supply chain strain anticipated as consumers stick with online grocery shops

Greater supply chain strain anticipated as consumers stick with online grocery shops

According to DHL Consulting, e-commerce volumes have jumped by 50% in multiple markets in April, with the COVID-19 pandemic “rewriting the rules” of online shopping – making a fleet of material handling equipment vital to efficient packing, shipping and returns says Midland Pallet Trucks, especially in the time-sensitive grocery sector.

Despite restrictions being eased, e-commerce continues to thrive with 48% of customers saying they intend to stick with online ordering instead of heading back to the supermarket as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the UK.

As the online shopping trend looks set to continue in most consumer goods markets including grocery shops, the challenge for UK supply chains is to source more decentralised fulfilment networks with inventories located close to the end customer, enabling fast delivery of perishable goods and foodstuffs.

This places yet more strain on the warehousing sector with record take-up levels in Q2; a total of13.3 million square feet of space occupancy has been driven by e-commerce and food retailers.

Predictions that a further pipeline of over £1.5 billion lies ahead for the next quarter shows just how important the warehousing sector is set to become over the next few months. This is especially true for grocery retailers who have witnessed the largest demand, with soaring interest in home deliveries.

Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting equipment for the warehousing industry including hand pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is urging those working in the warehousing sector to consider the health and safety of staff during the surge in popularity for online grocery shopping.

The concern that many warehouses who are experiencing a spike in demand are needing to source more staff and lifting equipment to safeguard workers against the risk of injuries associated with lifting consignments and packages is one shared by the industry as a whole and is being voiced by Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks.

“As our supply chain continues to evolve and change following the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to keep our focus on the safety and wellbeing of the workers that are tasked with fulfilling grocery orders to feed the UK.

“From pallet trucks to lift tables, these pieces of equipment are vital for staff safety and productivity. We urge any warehouse manager to reassess their lifting equipment needs as the UK population looks set to rely on online grocery deliveries for the foreseeable future. With the need for greater hygiene measures and social distancing, the amount of equipment required now is likely far greater than that during other peak periods such as around the Christmas holidays.”

With a centrally located distribution centre, Midland Pallet Truck products can be ordered either via phone or online and shipped the very same day.

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