Editor's Comment

Editorial: Taking stock of what’s in store for 2019

Ocado natural gas

We kick off 2019 by looking at some of the year’s main trends, including technologies such as automation and drone delivery as well as strategic goals such as sustainability. It’s a new year but the pressures on retailers are the same – offering shorter delivery times for the same price.

One of the trends is green technology, as Ocado begins the new year by signing a 10-year deal with Gasrec to begin transitioning its fleet to natural gas. The grocer is not quite ready to move off fossil fuels altogether but it expects the move to significantly reduce emissions.

Another of our trends is drones, although those expecting to receive their first drone parcel deliveries this year may be disappointed. We have an interview with the MD of Blue Bear, which is collaborating with the University of Cranfield on a new drone delivery corridor. He claims that the recent incident at Gatwick airport has set the industry back five years in terms of regulation and public perception.

Another forward-looking feature is our report on six European start-ups in the logistics and delivery sector, many of which are already working with major retailers.

We also have the news that DB Schenker has launched a solution on Magento for smaller merchants while Parcelhub has simplified labels to allow quicker package processing.

Image credit: Gasrec