"In logistics, we move towards the consolidation of top market players"
Interview with Tom Forbes, MetaPack
The Delivery Conference 2018 — one of the biggest e-commerce events - took place on January 30th in London Park Plaza. The conference and exhibition brought together more than 1200 professionals in e-сommerce and logistics technology of more than 20 countries. Among speakers were top managers from major carriers, i.e. Hermes, Yodel, DHL, MetaPack, UPS, as well as e-retail leaders: Asos, RIVER ISLAND, John Lewis, etc. Our journalist attended TDC 2018 and discussed global ecom trends with the Vice President of MetaPack - Tom Forbes.

Shiptor: Tom, what logistics trends 2018 would you point out?
Tom Forbes: Constant optimization and cost reduction. The brand new trend - the consolidation of top market players into alliances. Shared logistics channels and warehousing facilities optimize costs and speed, while improving the quality of delivery.

Shiptor: The Great Britain is a country with reserved and conservative logistic ecosystem, isn't it?
Tom Forbes: Yes and no. The Great Britain is an island country with local companies that service British markets solely with no intention to expand business abroad. Examples are Yodel, NightLine and Collect+. You know, narrow specialization is a significant market advantage. On the other hand, the Great Britain serves as a bridge between North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Shiptor: In the country with big market players such as RoyalMail and DHL there are many new start-ups showing up. Where do they come from and how do they get on stage?
Тom Forbes: I agree it's hard to compete with the market giants. But some recent carriers started as catalogue sellers, received massive investments, and now they feel good next to big players.
In 2018 even a higher growth in cross-border is expected
During one of the key TDC 2018 panel discussions "The Retail Perspective" speakers from Shop Direct, Asda, ASOS & River Island, and MetaPack highlighted the following e-сommerce and logistics trends:

  • The world is not ready for robotic logistics. People don't trust drones and robots with their parcels.
  • Real time logistics. More digital buyers use mobile phones that enables them to track and make changes to orders in real time.
  • Consolidation of orders from different online stores. A new type of logistics infrastructure is needed - one that aggregates orders from different marketplaces and online stores into one shipping.
  • In 2018 even a higher growth in cross-border is expected.

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