During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-commerce market has grown and continues to grow even after physical stores have re-opened. According to some estimates, in the 2020 holiday season online sales will surpass in-store sales by 169%.
Justas Cibulskas, Head of the Partial Loads Group in the AsstrA Operations Department, notes that at the beginning of the pandemic, few understood the seriousness of the situation. Transport and logistics processes were carried out according to the usual pattern: request, order, and transport. However, a couple of weeks after the start of the pandemic, the order situation has changed.
“The number of orders rose sharply, as companies feared that factories would close and there would be a shortage of products. Demand has grown for express delivery with further storage in partner warehouses and distribution to final recipients on demand,” says Justas Cibulskas. “The number of orders for prefabricated lots has also increased. Customers opted to make a series of smaller, regular orders to avoid having a fully loaded vehicle stuck at the border due to pandemic-related restrictions.”
With the rise in popularity of online shopping and an increase in the number of online orders, requirements for transportation services have increased. Retailers often prefer to make regular orders of small batches from manufacturers or from warehouses to ensure prompt delivery to end consumers. Speed and timing have become customers’ priorities.
“The fourth quarter is traditionally the ‘high season’ for retail. To meet market requirements, the AsstrA team has prepared in advance by contracting additional vehicles from carrier partners. We have our own warehouse in Blonie in Poland and strong relationships with other warehouse operators in multiple countries. Our clients always receive priority service and never have to wait in line. We can guarantee 24/7 access to partner warehouses if that’s what is required,” adds Justas Cibulskas.
For the prompt delivery of small consignments, the team engages small-sized vehicles such as C-class vans with carrying capacities of up to 1 ton and Solo trucks that can move between 3.4 to 5.5 tons. Transit time from EU countries to the CIS is usually no more than 3-4 days. AsstrA clients always receive groupage cargo deliveries quickly regardless of the season or market conditions.