Logistics is certainly going micro. It is not that the industry is becoming smaller – we all know that is not the case. What is happening is the increase in the need for smaller and more flexible spaces and solutions that can accommodate smaller orders, e-commerce and returns.
It is easy to talk but in the industry we know we also have to do the hard work. Just saying micro-hubs are becoming the new reality is not enough. We need solutions that work.
‘The entire micro-hub space has transformed over the last two years, and COVID has been an accelerator for that in many ways. Micro-warehouses are making, in many ways, instant delivery services more seamless and affordable – a kind of breather for fulfilment congestion in urban areas as well,’ says Sebastian Steinhauser, CEO and Founder of Parcelly.
More spaces but smaller
He is now alone is his evaluation of the situation. Daniel Levan-Harris, CEO and Founder of Mango Logistics Group, which operates many micro-fulfilment warehouses around London, says the trends have really picked-up because of Covid. Space, however, is even more limited now that it was before.
One of the big questions will be whether robots will be able to take over the micro-hubs. According to Herbert ten Have, CEO of Fizyr, this will happen but won’t mean people are not needed. According to ten Have one of the reasons is that not all technologies were fully ready and the market took its time to experiment and find what would work best. Now we can see many projects taking shape and the growth in automation and micro-fulfilment is unlikely to stop soon.
MFWs are also known as urban fulfilment centres. They are typically small and highly automated storage facilities located close to the end consumer in order to reduce the cost and delivery times of goods, explain Drs Banu Ekren and Hendrik Reefke from The Centre for Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, part of Cranfield University.
The primary focus is to speed up the delivery of online orders to customers. An MFW consists of three main components:
- Warehouse management software
- Automation equipment
- Packing staff
Are you still not convinced logistics is going micro? Do you have more questions? Why not join us on the 8th March online to talk about it. You can hear more real-life stories from logistics companies and experts in the field. The event is free, fun and most importantly practical. Get your free spot here!
At the event on the 8th March you can expect real-life cases, advice and more.
Parcelly will talk about How to Remodel Urban Spaces for Micro-Hubs;
Fizyr are bringing their client Inther Intralogistics to share the story on Implementing Micro-fulfilment Solutions;
Mango Logistics will share their Journey Into Micro-hubs and smaller urban warehousing;
Cranfield School of Management will give us the trends and BotsandUs the future direction;
We hope to see you there and exchange ideas, oppinions and more.
The Logistics Point Team