Basics on the Future of Micro-Fulfillment

Basics on the Future of Micro-Fulfillment

As a top reverse logistics provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, we at ReverseLogix Logistics are always looking to the future. The industry of reverse logistics and returns management is always evolving, and our professionals want to be ahead of the curve to keep your business on top of things.

One area that’s quickly approaching mass viability in our industry? An area known as micro-fulfillment. Think of this as Airbnb, but for logistics – it helps individual people turn their personal garages into storage space, and helps many smaller businesses bring warehousing closer to their customers. Here are some basics to know about micro-fulfillment, and why it might be big in your industry soon.

Why It’s Needed

In today’s day and age, speed of delivery is one of the single largest factors in retail success. Companies like Amazon and Walmart have massive fulfillment centers around the world, leveraging AI and other technology to fill fast orders.

Smaller businesses, though, struggle to match this speed and efficiency, particularly for last mile delivery. But this is where micro-fulfillment comes in, to help level this particular playing field.

How It Will Work

The same way a company like Amazon has human pickers in fulfillment centers choosing items off shelves to ship, micro-fulfillment will aim to achieve this goal on a city-wide level. Think of the way Uber works, and apply it to shipping – individual drivers would be notified to head to a given area to pick up items for delivery, turning numerous civilians into temporary delivery drivers.

For the garage owner, a synced app lets them know when they need to be home to accept a shipment or pickup. This kind of use of technology can do a ton to close the gap for smaller businesses in terms of shipping speed.

Why It’s Plausible

As recently as 15 or even 10 years ago, this sort of thing would not have been possible. It would have been too tough to convince property owners to rent out space, and there would have been no way to organize drivers on the scale necessary.

But with the rise of apps like Uber, this is no longer the case. The market is already prepared for this space – everyone has a smart phone, and the technology is easily there for micro-fulfillment to be organized on a huge scale. Micro-fulfilment shows the potential to lower overhead and reduce expenses, both for companies and property owners.

For more on micro-fulfillment, which is already in the early stages in the Bay Area, or to learn about our reverse logistics system, speak to the pros at ReverseLogix Logistics today.