Crisis Chronicle - Logistics in the face of re-confinement #3

Containment makes Christmas even more complex for logisticians

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Each week, during the whole containment period, SpaceFill will draw up an inventory of the logistics market in France. Detailed statistics, impact by region, availability of the storage network, testimonials of professionals: SpaceFill will make you live the evolution of the logistics activity on the front line, alongside our partners.

Crisis Chronicle #3 - The Christmas Puzzle


This week, Christmas is part of the debate. Whether it's choosing the right gifts for their loved ones or organizing a feast, French people are starting to think about the festive season. For logisticians, Christmas is being prepared well before December 24th and the activity is already in full swing! ‍‍‍


The most complex logistical Christmas of the decade

Historically, the Christmas season has been a challenge for logisticians, add a new containment and it's a challenge. This new containment is upsetting the forecasts of many manufacturers, who were hoping to make a significant part of their turnover during the festive season.

It is worth recalling the impact of Christmas on the economy. Indeed, it is at Christmas that toy manufacturers make 55% of their turnover, and department stores make a third of their annual sales. Beyond the retail sector, whole sections of the economy are counting on the festive season. Just think of food (chocolate, poultry, foie gras, seafood) or catering to be aware of this.

In fact, it is at Christmas that toy manufacturers make 55% of their turnover and department stores make a third of their annual sales.

By mirror effect, it is also an important period for the logistics sector. As always, logistics is on the move to support consumption, but without activity, consumption is likely to come to a halt. In fact, Christmas is a real rush during which transporters increase their volume by 35%. A boost, all the more vital today, for the economy! 

  

If the first containment had brought the economy to a standstill, hopefully its impact would not be as strong over the Christmas period. Contrary to the first containment, this one is under the sign of the continuity of activity, or even of the acceleration in the last few weeks, it is in any case true for the storage sector.

Christmas shopping
Activity does not stop during the re-confinement, driven by Christmas preparations.

We want proof of this, the requests made to us via our website spacefill.fr (Construction, Furniture, Food, Games, Books ...). The end of the year remains despite the confinement a period of high activity that resembles that of last year. This remains to be moderated, however, because while we are seeing an increase in short contracts, many long-term contracts have been put on hold until there is more visibility.

While we are seeing an increase in short contracts, many long-term contracts have been put on hold to gain more visibility.


As a result,we observe in our network that activity remains at a high level, particularly around the major metropolises. "There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the outlets, but industrialists are standing by and preparing their stocks," explains a partner in the Hauts-de-France region.

The smaller warehouses are reaching saturation and few goods issues are expected before December. In a way, the warehousing sector is improving at the expense of the transport sector, because if stocks are no longer running, the warehouses will no longer be full and the transporters will come to a standstill. This shows that, as every year, companies are forecasting high consumption for Christmas. At least they hope so. 


But how to get the goods to the end customer, knowing that the usual distribution channels (shops, Christmas markets, supermarkets, restaurants, ...) are mostly closed? Not wanting to put a stop to Christmas, shippers are adapting to this new situation.

Christmas will take place... on the net...

Faced with uncertainty about the reopening of stores, industrialists, traders and craftsmen are rushing to put their products online. Contrary to the first confinement, e-commerce is no longer Amazon's exclusive playground.

Unlike the first containment, e-commerce is no longer Amazon's exclusive playground.

If the big brands were pioneers of the web, the fight is now led by the public authorities. Initiatives are multiplying at local and national level to help small businesses develop online activity. Among them, the platform Clique mon commerce lists the digitisation solutions labelled by the Government. Some cities, such as Amiens and Roubaix, have decided to organise virtual Christmas markets. 


But the rise of e-commerce is not without a strong impact on the logistics network. For example, 50% of the contracts signed by FM Logistics are in e-commerce (Les Echos). Most of the partners offering transport services questioned by SpaceFill observe an explosion of messaging due to distance selling. "What we may have lost in international freight is partly compensated for by courier services. It's unheard of," says one of our partners in the Marseilles region. 

A light vehicle in front of a restaurant
As consumers are buying more on the Internet, messaging is exploding to deliver them to their homes or to drop-off points.


In order to deliver products on time, a whole organisation is necessary: computer processing, packing, sorting of parcels, groupage, dispatch. If the logisticians have no difficulty in absorbing the extra load in order preparation, the last mile is a real problem. Home delivery, which is highly prized by consumers, remains a logistical headache, even outside crisis periods. Compared to the first confinement, however, we are seeing an increase in Click & Collect and relay points, which are offering themselves as more profitable and greener alternatives for companies.


In all cases, logisticians are mobilizing to meet the challenge. The stakes are not only economic but also symbolic: how can we guarantee that the gifts arrive on time at the foot of the tree? La Poste is planning to purchase 400 trucks to absorb the peak of activity, which it estimates at 4 million parcels daily. It will also reinforce its teams with more than 100,000 postmen, delivery staff and customer service representatives in post offices mobilized, as well as 9,000 seasonal jobs (Le Point). Although they do not have the same resources, the same dynamic is observed among our smaller logistics partners, where the number of seasonal workers is increasing sharply compared to other years. 

The stakes are not only economic but also symbolic: how to guarantee the arrival of gifts on time at the foot of the tree?


SpaceFill is also mobilized to help companies get through the end of the year with peace of mind. SpaceFill is the European leader in temporary storage and during containment 97% of the 3,000 warehouses in our network remain open. Overflow, buffer storage or emergency storage, we bring you flexibility in the face of uncertainty. To go further, make us a storage request.

The useful service of the week: MagicPallet, the sustainable solution to stop wasting your pallets

MagicPallet is an online platform for the exchange of European pallets. It allows carriers, manufacturers and distributors to exchange used pallets to reduce the costs of pallet relocation and promote their reuse. 


We decided today to interview Pierre-Edouard Robert, founder of MagicPallet, to find out his vision of the health crisis on his activity and more generally on the world of logistics.

 

How do you see the impact of containment at MagicPallet? 

The first containment was constructive for us. On the one hand, we ensured the continuity of our operations in a crisis context. On the other hand, we adapted our business model.

 

The Supply Chain players who continued to work had to manage everything in a hurry. They were making deliveries but did not have time to look after their pallets. Until they ran out of time and had to relocate pallets urgently. MagicPallet found them fast and efficient exchange solutions.

 

As for our business model, we changed it in September. During the containment, we measured the difficulties of road transport craftsmen and VSEs. These companies do not handle huge volumes of pallets, but face exactly the same problem as large groups: returning the pallets to the shippers. Except that they do not have large or dedicated teams in their operations. We therefore decided to offer them the MagicPallet service: 100% free of charge for up to 1,000 pallets exchanged per year.

 

This second containment is different: the activity is less reduced. Magic Pallet's DNA is self-help. Carriers, distributors and industrialists exchange pallets instead of travelling empty miles or chartering trucks. So they do each other a favour. This state of mind is essential in complicated times like these.

Screenshot of the MagicPallet platform
The MagicPallet platform allows carriers, distributors and manufacturers to exchange used pallets.

 

Does the current crisis have other consequences for your business? 

Yes, the health crisis is a wake-up call for many companies. We have contacts with large groups who are now coming to us because they are looking for concrete and measurable solutions on an environmental level. Our mission is to reduce CO2 emissions (fewer kilometres travelled) and to fight against deforestation (better rotation of second-hand pallets, therefore fewer pallets bought back and fewer trees cut down). Since the beginning of the health crisis, prospects no longer contact us only because MagicPallet is a source of savings on their logistics costs, but also to build a sustainable Supply Chain. 

 

How did you continue to serve your customers? 

MagicPallet is above all a digital solution. User companies exchange pallets online. On an operational level, business can therefore continue for our customers. For the expertise and subcontracting part brought to key accounts, the MagicPallet team can do it remotely. Finally, at the commercial level, we note a change. From now on, prospects ask us for online demonstrations, which we can easily do.



If you haven't had the opportunity to read last week's article, we invite you to read it. by following this link. To go further, tell us about your storage needs in completing this form or by calling us on 01 84 80 88 82.

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Find space for your goods

SpaceFill brings you the best storage solution close to your needs thanks to its network of 3000 logistic warehouses.

Problem? Question?
Contact us directly

01 88 24 12 12
pasquier logo
plg logo
postage-paid logo
ruby logo

What is your storage requirement?

Thank you. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Oops! Thank you for filling out the form