Grocery Logistics: 4 Strategies to Solve Top Challenges

Grocery logistics challenges can arise at any stage in the supply chain.

Grocery logistics are a constant necessity and a service that will never fall out of demand. Indeed, entire markets and economies of many areas across the nation hinge on food and beverage transportation.

According to early 2022 projections and estimates highlighted by GlobeNewswire, the United States Online Grocery Market will hit USD 306.99 Billion in overall value by 2027. This is up from the approximate value of USD 112.90 Billion in 2021. This niche industry is also expected to continue growing at a massive CAGR of 18.1% between 2021 and 2027.

It is easy to see why grocery store supply chain management is critical for supply and demand balance within the modern supply chain. In an ever-changing transportation environment, overcoming common disruptions will boost throughput and maximize profits.

Here are some common challenges in grocery logistics and our experts’ solution suggestions.

1. Grocery Logistics Must Overcome Risk of Spoilage

The single most significant obstacle facing grocers and F&B shippers is the risk of spoilage. Many products can sit an extra day or even a week with little concern. When produce sits at a grocery distribution center or in long load lines due to poor dock scheduling, entire loads can spoil, costing everyone a great deal of time and resources.

Use Temperature-Controlled Delivery or Ensure Proper Insulation for Short-Transit
There are two critical solutions to this problem of grocery logistic delays. The first is to utilize reefer and other climate-controlled transportation options for sensitive cargo. The second is to always assign food and beverage transportation to the fastest and most reliable modes of transport for any point of origin and destination.

2. Poor Visibility Results in Delayed Deliveries, Odd Substitutions

In some situations, if a particular item or product is unavailable, substitutions may be made to fulfill delivery quotas and stocking needs and satisfy transport management guidelines. This might not be an issue in some markets. It can be a problem for those dealing with grocery store supply chain management when certain produce is unexpectedly substituted.

Gain Real-Time Visibility Into All Inventory to Avoid Backorders
Like all other areas within local supply chain networks, end-to-end visibility into grocery logistics and inventory management practices has a tremendous impact. When shortages remain predictable, it is easier to monitor order fulfillment. Visibility and real-time notifications and communications make real-time monitoring much more practical.

3. Limited Controls Over the Final Mile Remain

Despite the best planning and organization, grocery logistics is not hard science. Only so much can be done, and many grocery chains and managers have limited influence over last-mile shipping and delivery. This is where most food and beverage transportation issues typically arise.
Track and Optimize Final Mile With Dedicated Service Providers

Partnerships with shipping and courier networks make it easier to find delivery carriers who know how to handle reefer and other sensitive loads safely and efficiently. With real-time tracking and near-instant disruption notifications, these transportation experts know how to move produce from grocery distribution centers to the final storefront.

4. Poor Integration Between Systems Contributes to Fulfillment Delays & Errors

In a digital age where everything is connected on multiple levels, grocery logistics must be more integrated and automated. When drivers are stuck wasting time with mundane tasks, teams can’t communicate, or shippers are at the mercy of current conditions, there are more delays and errors with fulfillments.
Unify Your Grocery Supply Chain Data Within a Single TMS

Industry experts with tools, software, and technology innovations make grocery logistics easier. Coordinating with grocery distribution center teams, drivers and shippers, and grocery management is more accessible with a single TMS integration for food and beverage transportation. This yields fast and reliable delivery assistance.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Deliver a Fresh Grocery Logistics Experience With the Right Partner

Keeping up with the latest trends and advancements in grocery logistics and transportation services can seem daunting. Managing team members, third-party vendors, and a network of drivers requires fully integrated TMS platforms. The technology makes the entire process of produce and grocery transportation more accessible than ever for grocery store supply chain management.

The right tools, insight, and guidance can make the entire process fast, easy, and affordable. Download our Sprouts case study to learn how MercuryGate helped overcome core challenges.

Download the Grocery Logistics Case Study.

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