2021 Shipping and Fulfillment Trends  

We pulled data on the most read articles of the DCL Logistics blog in 2021 to see if any trends or themes emerged. It’s no surprise that in a year of unprecedented carrier surcharges and part delays, merchants needed information to optimize their shipping strategy, plus best practices for efficient fulfillment. It’s clear that both shipping news and fulfillment advice dominated 2021, and we were here for it. Below are the most read articles of 2021.  

The top three posts of 2021: Freight, Small Parcel, and Surcharges 

Shipping fees, shipping strategies, and all things transportations. That’s what DCL readers wanted to read the most in 2021.  

The ecommerce boom has brought more companies to the table, which means smaller brands are looking for cost-efficient ways to get their products to doorsteps. Enter a rising LTL market. The Difference Between FTL v LTL, Explained is a great primer for merchants navigating the freight market. It’s estimated that LTL freight increased 9.1% in 2021, a much higher growth rate than in 2020.  

Small parcel shipping has also been on the rise recently. There are so many variables to consider when choosing a domestic small parcel carrier. It’s no wonder our post Comparing Small Parcel Shipping Options: UPS, FedEx, and DHL was a valuable resource for merchants looking to optimize their ecommerce shipping strategy.  

Shipping rates were a huge topic in 2021. Domestic carriers increased peak season surcharges a record number of times throughout the year. To help merchants keep the rates and start dates of these surcharges straight, we put together Guide to 2021 Carrier Rate Increases and Surcharges [+ Chart]. 

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The Runners Up: All About Fulfillment

While many merchants were elbow deep in shipping fees, some were navigating fulfillment issues.  

The ecommerce boom of 2020 ended up a success for brands who could manage big order surges for direct-to-consumer business. What did those brands do to grow in 2021? Look for new sales channels of course. As brick-and-mortar stores began opening back up, Understanding B2B Fulfillment v. B2C Fulfillment became a key component for brand growth. Entering new sales channels is daunting, but not when you have an experienced 3PL managing your fulfillment.  

The component shortage and major manufacturing delays that started in 2020 only got worse this year. Working with reliable partners became imperative to merchants this year. It’s not a surprise that many people sought out guides like The Difference Between a 3PL and 4PL and Humans, Not Robots, Are Your Competitive Edge in Fulfillment. 

Honorable Mention: How to Navigate Supply Chain Bottlenecks

It wouldn’t be 2021 without mention of supply chain issues and bottlenecks. Within the top ten performing posts, we noticed a large majority of readers were interested in how to navigate supply chain issues and make plans to establish more resilient logistics. Our post on 5 Tips for Overcoming Supply Chain Bottlenecks was right on trend with this year’s big topic. Among the most important aspects of a healthy supply chain, partnering with reliable and experienced companies.  

 

If you’re looking for a 3PL with fulfillment centers in cities across the US, we own and operate facilities in The Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Kentucky. Use DCL’s national footprint of warehouses to distribute your inventory across the country to reduce transit times and save on shipping costs. If you need fulfillment or shipping support and want to partner with DCL Logistics, we’d love to hear from you