Volume increase in 2024 but High Street brands could still run out of steam

Original Content

Comments from Steve Gell, Partnerships Director DeliveryApp.

More predictions and expectations for 2024 in our January edition. Read it here.

  1. What are your predictions for 2024 based on what we saw in 2023?

The logistics industry, and specifically courier industry has seen general volumes decrease in 2023 as economic pressures reduce consumer spending, this has given the sector the difficult task of balancing the fixed costs of supply & demand, resulting in lower levels of service early in the year and then over recruitment in Q4, creating higher operating costs for the peak months. 

As inflation gets closer to the government’s target 2% and pay begins to catch up with inflation and the real cost of living, we will start to see volumes increase again as we head into the later stages of 2024. 

We should also see the opportunity ahead, the high street has struggled over the last 12-months, and we can expect to see a few more victims over the next six months, as a result, online retail will continue to thrive and retailers will need to build better delivery options into their offer in order to thrive. 

  1. What should supply chain managers be most aware of and worried about?

Supply chain managers should be building flex into their operations and utilising technology to be as efficient as possible so they can react quickly to market changes without sitting on unutilised fixed costs.

The “Go Green” agenda is also a hot topic and customers now more than ever expect this to be built into solutions, whilst government timings surrounding the switch away from internal combustion may have been extended, acting earlier as more compelling EV solutions come to market, should be seen as an opportunity. 

  1. How can supply chains be better protected and more efficient?

As mentioned previously efficiency needs to be driven through operational flex, for example removing fixed cost and depreciating assets from your business is key as long as you build in a plan such as on demand partners for your peak periods 

  1. What trends will shape the industry?

The key trends will be a move towards utilising Tech & AI which will find solutions that are faster and more efficient whilst driving down operational costs