How buying online is changing the way goods move


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E-retail is growing fast

$4.5billion sales Q4 1999 $80.3billion sales Q4 2014

Quarterly “click and order” sales are growing 5x quicker than “bricks and mortar” sales

Average growth per quarter (2000-2014) 0.8% Average growth per quarter (2000-2014) 4.3%


Online shopping-related jobs added (2002-2014)

And growth in e-retail is creating new jobs

But, e-retail depends on fast and predictable supply chains, which means businesses are changing the way they move and store goods

Amazon, for example, has added about 40 million square feet of distribution warehousing in the last 10 years...

2,400million square feet 43,800million square feet 2004 2014

...And FedEx is seeing surging demand for efficient package delivery in population centers

9M average daily package volume in 2011 11M average daily package volume in 2014

To get goods delivered quicker, companies like Amazon are also adding many more distribution centers and locating them close to congested mega-region populations

Opened before 2009 Opened 2009 and after

As e-commerce becomes a major economic force, investment to support a fast and reliable urban freight delivery network will become even more vital

Data sources:

  • E-retail growth/average growth per quarter: U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly E-Commerce Report
  • E-retail jobs: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics series data
  • Amazon warehouse space & locations: Channeladvisor.com (http://www.channeladvisor.com/blog/?pn=marketplaces/update-on-amazons-fulfilmentcenter-fc-network)
  • FedEx package volumes: FedEx corporate annual reports 2011 & 2015