Shared Mobility in Logistics

A new wave of conscious consumers is sweeping the world, the resources that are scarce are now a fact that most of us cannot ignore.

Also, the current generation believes in sharing and thus showing that they care in a big way.

The same generation is also time conscious and believes in quick turn around time. Gone are the days when you bought something online and were willing to wait for it.

Today people are already talking about same day delivery if the seller is in the same city as theirs.

This puts immense pressure on Ecommerce Retailers because some of the players are still grappling with the challenges of selling online and trying to upgrade their systems for this huge shift in business. Their traditional mode of doing business is seeing a sea change. Some of these retailers have been selling in the age-old retailing manner and are yet to appreciate the new business or are too wary of including the change.  Others have been smart enough to introduce new talent and have incorporated new age thinking into the business. Either ways it is overwhelming to cater to the demands that most ecommerce platforms are now placing on the retailers.

Earlier the distribution model was a process and included various channels that can be bypassed today, so can the delivery time be reduced based on the new model?

Shared mobility is a term that is being associated with people sharing transport and Uber and Ola have revolutionized the way we travel.

So, what is the role of the same shared mobility in logistics.

Micro-hub & Shard Mobility: Like a common parking lot, a micro hub can be a small place where the packages for a zone arrive for last mile delivery. These micro-hubs cater to multiple logistics / transport companies. The concept itself is not very new in India where local state transport buses have been following a raw model of the same for years.

Retailers can take advantage of these solutions to reduce delivery time. Courier companies can reduce the cost and increase the number of deliveries per day without straining their network.

Shared infrastructure like this has its challenges and down sides as well. Some of them are administrative and responsibility related. There will be norms that need to be set and qualitative as well as quantitative analysis that will have to prove the utility of such hubs.

Currently in our own industry we have stakeholders that are not comfortable with the idea of sharing the same storage space or sharing the same vehicle with other players in their business. This puts a tremendous pressure for delivering as minimum as 2 to 4 packages in day. Consolidation, co-loading or sharing a hub could lead to efficient route planning and reduce the axle load, transit time for all parties involved at the same time cutting down on carbon emissions besides other costs.

But these hubs are not very far in the future for the industry that is striving hard to cut down on manpower, time, fuel, storage and build sustainable solutions that are beneficial to all the stakeholders.

With all the regulatory processes in place shared mobility is a win win solution one that will pose its share of challenges but will benefit everyone in the long run especially looking at how the realty rates are soaring, and the world is looking at shared mobility in a new light.

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