Author: Jeff Ström

How do e-retailers and 3PLs create profitability in Q4?

It’s not uncommon for e-retailers and 3PLs to double their staff during Black Friday and the Christmas holidays. Some companies even seem to be proud of that.

But not only does it put pressure on all departments, who also see their margins swallowed by new costs, during what should be the most profitable period of the year. Many of the online retailers I’ve spoken to say, that this period is so critical, they wouldn’t be able to survive if they missed out.

How to create profitability

Here are three common bottlenecks (and how to deal with them):

  1. Picking
    In another post, we talked about how picking efficiency is all about data. Keep track of questions, such as “what are our most frequently picked items?” and “which items tend to be left for a longer period of time?”, is essential, and by using data from the WMS system, you can optimise your SKUs. It is not uncommon for picking staff to walk (run) 25-30 thousand steps per working day. With our pick-to-light solution you can maximise efficiency and minimise running, and strategically place your “high-rollers” (items that are picked most frequently) for optimal flow.

  2. Packaging
    The most skilled packer we have ever seen is located in Norway, and he is able to pack close to 1000 packages in 8 hours. With our cold-seal packing machine, you can avoid packaging waste, glue granules and heating elements. You can also use packaging that is 100% recyclable and label and prepare for final sorting. e-motion’s packing machine handles more than 4800 packages per shift, or 10 per minute. The payback period is never longer than 8 months.

  3. The sorting process
    You often hear people say “Mistakes are part of being human”, and this is certainly the case in the sorting department. But incorrectly sorted packages lead to customer support cases and costs you time and money. Correcting the route of package that has been wrongly sent with, i.e., Bring instead of Postnord can quickly become very expensive. Let’s say that this package ended up in Norway, which leads to the package having to be returned and your end customer leaving a bad review. The importance of meticulousness in final sorting cannot be emphasised enough. e-motion’s DWS system handles up to 3,500 parcels per hour at an accuracy of 99.99%. Never underestimate the human factor.


Would you like to know more about our automation and how long the payback period would be for you? Contact me.

Key Account Manager

Jeff Ström

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