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Viewpoint: Doing digital commerce right

This month we’ve decided to focus the majority of our editorial on the impact (and subsequent challenges) e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment is having on logistics and transportation management. As executive editor Patrick Burnson makes clear in his cover story “E-commerce reshaping logistics,” the continued growth of digital commerce is not solely a matter of retailers re-adjusting and getting smarter about their parcel express and last mile strategies. It’s an issue that cuts across all manufacturing and distribution markets—and it’s putting increased pressure on the major modes of transportation that keep well-managed supply chains fluid.

And while none of us are strangers to the potential streamlining that comes with harnessing the powers of digital commerce, Burnson believes that a majority of U.S. organizations still have a long way to go in developing the IT backbone to make seamless transactions and true visibility possible. 

“In interviews with analysts and shippers here in the United States and Europe, it’s fully understood that digital has become a critical channel in commerce for both B2B and B2C brands,” says Burnson. “However, it’s also very clear that organizations continue to struggle to meet the changing needs of buyers because most companies can’t provide a cohesive commerce experience across devices.”

Burnson offers shippers a comprehensive look at how each mode—ocean, air, rail and trucking—is working to adjust to the shifting volumes and service demands of the digital world and suggests that shippers need to pick up the speed in new technology adoption. “As digital commerce continues to surge, shipper/carrier communication needs to be transparent,” adds Burnson.

And of course, no examination of the impact of e-commerce on logistics would be complete without looking inside the four walls of warehouses and DCs. Editor at large Josh Bond examines the findings of our “2016 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey” that’s designed to reveal the equipment and technology spending plans for the coming year.

“The DC is considered the heart of any e-commerce operation,” says Bond. “So, the good news is that we’re seeing more investment in the IT that ties equipment and systems together and more emphasis on synchronizing operations with transportation planning. Our 2016 findings speak volumes for the determination U.S. organizations have for doing digital commerce right.”

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About the Author

Michael Levans's avatar
Michael Levans
Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He's been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years.
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September 2023 Logistics Management

September 6, 2023 · Logistics operations are facing a human capital crisis that poses a threat to both performance and competitiveness. In this year’s study, our authors explore how organizations can compete for talent in an increasingly limited talent pool; how organizations are competing in an increasingly dynamic business environment; and examine the technologies that shippers now need to use to stay ahead of the curve.

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