Food and Grocery Transportation Trends: What to Know in 2020

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category
The food and grocery transportation industry are evolving. Compared to other aspects of retail, food suppliers and grocers form a massive market. As explained by Business Insider, the concept of online grocery delivery, representing the crux of food and grocery transportation needs, continues to change. “Both established grocery players and newcomers to the space are expanding their curbside pickup and delivery offerings — the two basic components of online grocery — in an attempt to grab market share.” Meanwhile, consumer behaviors are moving toward greater acceptance and trust in online grocery shopping. Shippers need to understand the top food and grocery transportation trends to expect in the coming year and how they enable continuing competition with major e-commerce retailers that have purchased large grocery chains in recent months.

Online Grocery Is Rapidly Becoming the Dominant Force for Purchasing Foods Online

According to Grocery Dive, 71% of brick-and-mortar grocers have explored the opportunities and extended into online sales to keep up with growing demand. By 2025, consumers will spend more than $100 billion a year on online groceries, and while e-commerce is ready for the opportunity to fulfill grocery orders, the challenge exists in maintaining traceability, says Greg Braun, Senior VP of C3 Solutions, a dock and yard management software company, on The Freight Project Podcast. “Grocers still have trouble succeeding in omnichannel fulfillment, keeping up with the latest food trends, and understanding that the bar for pricing on delivery is free.”

Established Players Are Looking for Innovative Ways to Offer Curbside Pickup and Delivery Options

Keeping up with the latest trends in the industry is good business. Established players in the market, including Walmart, HEB, and local grocers, have taken steps to offer curbside pickup and delivery options. Walmart made it possible by integrating grocery ordering and delivery within its app. In Texas, HEB purchased the task app, Favor, cementing its place in the future of food and grocery transportation. The race is on to find the best and most cost-efficient way to offer grocery delivery.

More Retailers Will Explore Food and Grocery Transportation Trends to Stay Competitive

More retailers are also looking to understand the food and grocery transportation trends, such as the introduction of meal kits, to stay competitive. Today’s consumers have become foodies, and like any trend, those that do not get in line will miss opportunities to capture more revenue. Further, more than 40% of millennials buy groceries online today, and with customers expected to make more than 70% of grocery purchases through online portals by 2022, the trend is clear.

The Focus Will Shift toward Last-Mile Delivery for Items

An important area of concern and opportunity lies within last-mile delivery for grocery items. Unlike electronics, home furnishings, appliances, and other items available online for purchase, groceries carry a special place in shipping. They require cold transport, rapid shipping, care to avoid potential contamination, and vigilance. Any violation of these needs could literally cost lives in the form of food poisoning, a problem that traceability in the supply chain is still attempting to fix.

Know What to Expect from Food and Grocery Transportation to Stay Successful This Year

Food retailers are working continuously to get more use out of supply chain demand forecast data, optimize operations, share planning data with suppliers, create seamless, omnichannel supply chains, and deliver on the demand for fast, free grocery delivery. Grocers are up to the challenge, but those that do not take the time to consider the top food and grocery transportation trends of 2020 will fall behind and risk losing customers and profits, in the future. Ensure your organization has resources to accommodate these food and grocery trends by investing in an easy-to-use transportation management platform with MercuryGate now.

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