Sector Primer – Direct Delivery Technology
January 6, 2021. 2020 was a massively disruptive year for global supply chain technology companies, and particularly so for transportation and expense management solutions focused on parcel, LTL, and Last-mile modes. With this disruption also came changes to supporting technologies across cold chain, network visibility, inventory, and warehouse management – collectively the direct delivery economy.
Few transportation modes were impacted by COVID-19 more than parcel delivery market. Based on data provided by MPG’s prior client, Green Mountain Technology, same day and express delivery represented over 30% of parcel volume in 2019. Preliminary review of parcel carrier data suggests that number will increase significantly in 2021 and beyond. Similarly, new distribution approaches including in-store distribution, ship from store, and curbside pick-up have dramatically changed the unit economics of delivering products to customers and consumers.
MPG also observed a meaningful uptick in investment activity in mission-critical delivery technology – with a particular focus on cold-chain technology – as the world works to establish a resilient supply chain for global vaccine distribution in response to COVID-19.
MPG’s supply chain technology practice is spearheaded by Michael Magruder and Rohan Khanna. Mr. Magruder commented, “While the initial phases of consolidation have already begun, we also see an incredible number of highly disruptive new entrants to this fast-paced market. PE and growth equity firms are in the unique position to invest in companies that provide long-term operational value to today’s modern shippers and consumers. With the infusion of capital will come further competition amongst market incumbents looking to aggressively fortify their existing technology suites as new entrants rapidly scale.”
MPG actively tracks the broader transportation & logistics technology market and has developed a particular focus on the direct delivery technology economy:
- A new value chain is being established to integrate inventory planning, shipping coordination, and delivery technology to meet the needs of modern shippers and consumers
- Capacity constraints forced carriers to aggressively increase pricing and moved to re-optimize networks around more nimble delivery requirements during a historic peak season
- Many industries have realized logistics technology is not only a business function, but now a strategic imperative
- Globally scaled physical retail footprints are shifting the balance of power in favor of shippers, as organizations identify new ways to engage with customers