In Canada and the United States, small-medium-sized businesses make up 93% of the warehouse and transport sector; many providing tailored third-party logistics services to brands who wish to outsource the logistics of their businesses. These are warehousing services, order pick and pack, long-haul transport, and last-mile delivery.

For many direct-to-consumer brands, the cyber sales season accounts for the majority of their yearly sales. For logistics operators, the cyber sales online shopping frenzy brings increased demand, warehouse capacity concerns, and accelerated last-mile dispatch expectations.

A single e-commerce order may pass through several services on its way to your door. From the online storefront, your order is sent to the warehouse the item is located, where it is retrieved and allocated to transport, to be sent to a closer warehouse facility for sorting into individual orders. From there, the order may have several transport legs, along with many other orders heading to a similar location, before it is allocated to last-mile delivery to the storefront, or your home.

According to Shopify’s recent report, the Future of Commerce, 60% of global consumers expect same, next, or two-day delivery — and with online sales across Black Friday and Cyber Monday expected to soar for another year, this trend means logistics providers will be handling their highest volume of the year, with greater demand than ever for faster delivery timeframes.

In response, many brands have released early sales, alleviating some of the pressure from the thanksgiving sales weekend.

“What we’re expecting to see, is stock backlogs ahead of the sales season as warehouse customers prepare for the sales boom,” CartonCloud CEO Vincent Fletcher said. With over 23,000 active daily users from warehouse and transport companies across the globe, the software company expects to see major spikes in order fulfillment over the next two months as cyber sales season leads into holiday shopping.

“Over the past few years, we've seen a significant shift in the sales season approach, responding to supply chain bottlenecks, shipping delays, and stock shortages experienced in previous years. These days, brands are beginning their sales ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, to try and lengthen the activity, giving distribution channels a better chance at keeping up.

“Once the sales season ends, we’ll see stock being cleared from warehouses, but the need for warehousing won't stop. The impacts of the global pandemic really changed the game. It showed the importance of data transparency and forecasting, especially in terms of what 3PL providers can offer to their customers, to help navigate the complexities of the logistics industry.”

These businesses need the ability to accept integrated online orders, track orders and stock movement with accuracy, train their team easily, and optimize their processes for faster order fulfilment. Online ordering must be integrated from their customer’s Shopify or other online stores, directly to their WMS, allowing instant order updates and accurate order placement without middle handling. Their warehouse system needs to be easy to use, and easy to train new employees. This way, seasonal workers can come on board for peak demand seasons, and pick up processes with ease. They can begin fulfilling orders faster, with higher accuracy — allowing the warehouse to be reactive in taking on new business.

Finally, order tracking and system integrations with transport partners is essential to ensure seamless dispatch and delivery.

“At CartonCloud, we’ve brought this to the forefront of our product road map. We’ve always provided secure and seamless software integrations to allow data flow for our customers, but now we’re also providing more opportunity for our customers to use their data to provide reporting to their customers, to plan for the future, and to show end to end transparency with absolute ease.

“It’s about equipping our customers to have the ability to offer more, with lower overheads, less time, and with the resources they have on hand. Our system simplifies complex logistics, doing the heavy lifting with data and workflow automation, to make their lives easier.

“Our user-friendly mobile app is so intuitive, they can bring on new staff and train them in minutes, with ensured accuracy through barcode scanning, and order tracking transparency delivered directly to their customer’s portal. It removes tedious admin, reporting and data entry, and literally gives them the ability to increase what they offer, without any headaches.”

With the rise in e-commerce continuing, and more brands looking to outsource logistics, a gap in the market is opening for 3PLs who can offer more to customers. With greater digital adoption, software integrations between retail and logistics providers is essential. CartonCloud is a cloud-based warehouse and transport management system software provider, delivering easy-to-use systems to small-medium sized 3PL warehouse and transport operators globally.