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E-commerce: the most demanding activity in logistics?
E-commerce is no industry in itself, but perhaps a separate discipline in logistics. Today, for many companies, it has become the primary sales channel. That applies not only to B2C channels, but increasingly for B2B as well.
Most e-commerce distribution centres (in-house or not) have to deal with thousands of smaller order sizes and they need to be shipped within shorter timeframes. Besides 'next day delivery' we already start to hear 'same day' concepts. The focus is mainly on speed and every second gained is important.
But the process is not only about fast, but also about error-free. Return flows in e-commerce are large (especially in fashion) and the warehouse must operate as effectively as possible to accommodate the different channels.
In e-commerce everything evolves around fast (zone or batch) picking, sorting and packing. And preferably supported with automated ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval) systems and packaging machines at the end of the line.