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Logistics industry steps up to record Black Friday challenge

Black Friday

An expected record year of sales has heaped pressure on Australia’s logistics and supply chain networks to deliver for retailers.

The Black Friday sales week has now established itself as the most popular time of the year for retailers.

With ANZ economists predicting another spending record this year – off the back of a 50 per cent increase last year – Peter Jones, Founder at Prological says the event has well and truly overtaken Boxing day in the logistics space.

“The B2C world has taken Black Friday and really owned it,” he says. “The logistics world has been absolutely smashed with the online capability and offerings required from the sales.”

The enormity of the sales period is represented by it being spread over a full week, rather than a single day. The demand on the logistics industry has become too great to work within a 24-48 hour period between the order and fulfilment cycle. By starting the sales on Monday, businesses have been able to support high engagement across the week.

“This has expanded the market,” Peter adds. “The logistic industry has faced the challenge of huge increases in orders, requiring greater picking efficiency and bigger transport networks.”

“We all have a watering hose that is perfect for watering the garden. But if a bushfire comes all of a sudden that garden hose won’t cut it. The Black Friday sales have done a similar thing to the logistics industry, meaning different strategies need to be implemented to cope with the business of the week.”

Off the back of strong B2C growth from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated consumer behaviour, Black Friday sales are expected to keep growing.

“Nobody’s suggesting that that trend is going to change as we go back to a more normative lifestyle,” Peter notes. “So the key to supply chain design is building in agility. It’s a new world for everybody, but artificial intelligence and simplifying supply chains are two examples of what the modern supply chain will focus on going forward.”

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