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Food sector requires a fast and efficient warehouse
The food sector may be less cyclical than many other sectors, but it also has to deal with rapidly changing consumer behaviour. We see more and smaller households and the rise of new distribution channels such as gas stations, special pick-up points or e-commerce sites. They all have an impact on the channel as a whole and on details like packaging. The moment of purchase coincides more often with the moment of consumption of the product. Food retail and food services are moving towards each other, creating a new blend. Both "fresh" and convenience are determining factors for success. New players coming from non-food sectors (like furniture supplier Ikea) try to take a piece of the action. Margins are under pressure and will probably stay that way.
E-commerce is forcing logistics to choose ultra-efficient systems. Transport and sorting systems help to deliver faster and this is of course particularly important in fresh produce. Harvested today, tomorrow on the shelf. Larger automated systems can be a solution for slow moving products. Fast concepts such as cross docking are popular in the food sector.
Space utilization is key in cold stores; the high operating costs need to be spread thin over as many goods as possible. Storage systems with stacker cranes and conveyor systems like RGV’s or AGV’s help you to get the most out of a building.
Fresh produce challenges the supply chain even more as it has to deal regulations regarding hygiene and cleanliness.