Retail Logistics relies on Omnimodal TMS for Omnichannel Customer Service

Retail logistics depends on omnichannel service and deliver anywhere capabilities.

With the exponential rise of e-commerce and the outsized impact of peak seasons, Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean that during a year when shippers are predicting a soft peak, the retail logistics industry will be busy — and full of potential chokepoints.

How do shippers and LSPs focus on logistics cost management, improve supply chain resilience, and create a truly orchestrated, transparent value chain that enables real-time reactions to avoid supply chain disruption?

The answer lies in your transportation management system.

Retail Logistics Costs Rising

As consumers order (and return) more goods through online and mobile channels, they expect fast delivery and “ship to store” options at every turn. The cost of providing those logistics services is skyrocketing. In its 2023 State of Logistics report, CSCMP found that domestic logistics costs topped $2.3 trillion in 2022, a 19.6% increase, year over year. That’s 9.1% of America’s GDP.

Another wrinkle in the cost management equation? Global instability. Rising gas prices at home and war abroad, not to mention escalating raw material prices, all impact what shippers and LSPs pay to get retail goods into the hands of end consumers.
Shippers and LSPs everywhere focus on minimizing the impact of this continued cost escalation without sacrificing retail logistics services. This major cost management balancing act is impacted by every labor stoppage and shortage, and supply chain disruption. While emerging technologies, like the use of AI in the supply chain, will alleviate some of this cost burden, many of these advancements are unproven.

Why Does Omnichannel in Retail Logistics Matter?

Click. Buy. Repeat. Now, add myriad delivery options to this standard consumer behavior. It may seem counterintuitive, but broadening your retail logistics delivery options will ultimately reduce costs. And increase customer satisfaction.
It’s a challenge, for sure. Omnichannel logistics seeks to provide a seamless and consistent shopping experience across various channels — online, in-store, mobile, etc. This demands synchronized inventory, logistics, and distribution across those channels to meet consumer demand.
This similar experience pleases customers. No matter where they’re shopping or how they’re obtaining the item, it’s all the same. Easy for them, hard for shippers and 3PLs. The final step? An unimpeachable inventory management system. To compete in the brave new omnichannel world, you must know what is available and when it can be shipped. Out-of-stock is not an option.
Like anything, a strong omnichannel game comes down to planning and ensuring your supply chain technology and logistics processes can handle this new retail logistics status quo.

Orchestrate Omnichannel Logistics Using Omnimodal TMS Applications

Using a TMS to ensure you select the right mode for every shipment will optimize omnichannel e-commerce service, guaranteeing the retail logistics shipment lifecycle proceeds without a hitch.

Optimization starts with managing freight transportation efficiently and proactively. A TMS creates the ideal delivery framework from a puzzle of routes, lanes, delivery dates, and accessorial needs. Real-time visibility — knowing where every shipment is at any point along the shipment lifecycle — is table stakes in today’s retail logistics supply chain.
A leading TMS will provide you with pinpoint accuracy of each shipment while controlling transportation costs. Use all the data and analytics the TMS generates to make informed, purposeful decisions about the future. Planning backed by data-driven choices gives you a competitive edge.
It’s crucial that any TMS plays well with your existing systems. Order and demand management systems, warehouse management tools, and ERP applications must plug into your TMS brain without issues. Why?

Take ERP as an example. With ERP integration into your TMS, your system will always know the closest available item for each order. In this retail environment, customers are demanding the ability to choose “store pickup” or other delivery options. An omnimodal TMS works with your ERP system to make seamless deliveries happen.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Your Retail Logistics Operation Needs a Purpose-Built TMS

While the end of the year is traditionally one of the busiest times in retail logistics and parcel shipping, the continued ballooning of e-commerce and consumers’ continued reliability on fast retail deliveries means year-round readiness is key to success.

Upgrading to a TMS that can handle omnichannel retail by embracing omnimodal logistics is the best way to create a resilient supply chain infrastructure ready to handle increased consumer demand alongside growing supply chain disruptions.

Download our brochure to see how MercuryGate TMS is built for retailers and designed for omnichannel delivery, backed by real-time shipment visibility, robust planning tools, and automated offerings that let you remove manual processes from your operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the integration of emerging technologies, such as AI, impact cost management and supply chain resilience in retail logistics, and what challenges do these technologies face in proving their effectiveness?

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly utilized in retail logistics to enhance cost management and supply chain resilience. AI-powered analytics offer predictive insights into consumer demand patterns, helping shippers optimize inventory levels and distribution routes. Additionally, AI-driven automation streamlines processes like order fulfillment and route planning, reducing operational costs and improving efficiency. However, challenges persist in proving the effectiveness of these technologies, including the need for large-scale implementation, data integration complexities, and ensuring alignment with evolving customer expectations.

Beyond the seamless customer experience, what specific challenges do shippers and LSPs face in implementing omnichannel logistics, and how do they address these challenges?

Implementing omnichannel logistics in retail involves addressing various challenges beyond providing a seamless customer experience. Shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) must synchronize inventory management across multiple channels to meet fluctuating demand while minimizing stockouts and overstock situations. Additionally, coordinating transportation logistics for omnichannel fulfillment requires efficient routing and delivery strategies to optimize cost-effectiveness and meet service level agreements. Managing complexities such as inventory visibility, order orchestration, and reverse logistics processes further adds to the challenges faced by retailers in adopting omnichannel strategies.

 what are common obstacles or complexities encountered during the integration of TMS and Existing Systems like ERP, and how can companies overcome them to ensure smooth operations?

Integrating transportation management systems (TMS) with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems presents several common obstacles for retailers. These challenges include data compatibility issues between disparate systems, complexities in aligning business processes, and ensuring seamless communication between platforms. Additionally, customizations may be required to accommodate unique business requirements and workflows, adding to the complexity of integration projects. To overcome these obstacles, retailers often engage in thorough system analysis, collaborate closely with software vendors or integration partners, and leverage standardized data formats and APIs to facilitate smooth data exchange between TMS and ERP systems.

Learn how MercuryGate TMS is built for modern retail logistics.


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