Despite the crisis that we already have upon us, parcel shipments through electronic commerce is one of the few business niches that are experiencing growth in their figures. The impossibility of going to buy in stores has meant that the internet has filled that gap. These purchases have been used for food, to acquire computer equipment to communicate during the pandemic or for sports equipment, among others.
If parcel shipments are the face, the cross would correspond to shipments between companies, or B2B, which have been heavily weighed down since the start of the health crisis.
Parcel shipments grow by 50%
The growth in parcel shipments is reaching 50%, which places it in the figures that are usually seen at times as marked on the calendar as Black Friday. The data, provided by the UNO employers’ association, also indicates that there is an increase in the complexity of operations and in the tension in flows and delivery times, also as a consequence of the health situation.
The difference between sectors is also being very notable. Among those that have rebounded the most, sports equipment stands out, which has quadrupled its sales numbers, and where companies have had serious problems to meet all the existing demand.
On the other side of the scale are textiles, the publishing world or construction, whose orders through electronic commerce have fallen to half.
The employer’s study indicates that this transfer of merchandise from B2B to B2C has not been able to financially compensate for the general drop in volumes. In this sense, the study stresses that due to its type (very small shipments), electronic commerce is less efficient and more expensive operationally than the supply to traditional establishments.
Amazon shipments grow, but profit falls
The North American giant Amazon, one of the titans of e-commerce globally, has also recently reported a 26% increase in its global sales in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
But, as with the UNO report regarding the situation in Spain, Amazon has also strongly felt the anxiety caused by the coronavirus tsunami. In his case, this surge has translated into a 29% drop in the profit obtained in the same period of time.
The reason for this drop in profits is due to the increase in operating costs, especially in the areas of sales, storage, technology and marketing.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has put figures on these coronavirus-oriented investments. “Under normal circumstances, we would expect to obtain about 4,000 million dollars (3,656 million euros) or more in operating profit during the second quarter. But these are not normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend all of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on Covid-19-related expenses to get products to customers and keep employees safe.”
As we can see, for the world of transport, and in particular for parcel shipments, the coronavirus has been a significant challenge. This is the case with the change in the type of shipments, the change between the volumes of the different sectors, the diversion towards parcels -whose margins are more exiguous-, and the additional costs in technology or health protection.
At Transgesa we face this challenge as our grain of sand when facing this crisis as a society.