The Last Mile Is Ripe for Disruption


Recently, we wrote about how everyone from Alibaba to Amazon to startups wants to get into the logistics industry. The reason for this is simple: The increasing demand for genuine logistics for online retailers is creating an ever growing market gap that wants to be filled. But while we wrote about global logistics the more innovation is happening with the last mile; because the biggest market pressure is being applied there.


A new report by CBRE found that the rise in online shopping has completely overhauled the logistics industry. Companies can no longer rely on a few distant warehouses to transport their goods. Instead, they’re moving into smaller sites closer to city centers.

In other words, the shift into same-day and next-day delivery is literally reshaping how warehouses look. In order to fit into to urban areas, fulfillment centers are getting smaller and more prevalent. […]

With shipping times continuing to shorten, there’s a new market for innovation in logistics within the city, CBRE concludes. Growth in e-commerce has spotlighted a market for startups to disrupt.

With regards to automation and fulfillment centers, I wrote last year:

In this regard, another interesting question is how much the increasing automation of warehouses is going to help Amazon roll out a network of close-by warehouses around the countries the company is present in. Read that part of the necessary space again: “That means warehouse design can eventually be modified to have more shelf space and less wide aisles.” I can imagine many relatively small, fully automated Amazon warehouses becoming a reality in the near future. (less than five years)

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