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Supply chains in an era of social media sell-outs

Retailers need to adapt their infrastructure to compete on the digital stage.

Trade Reimagined

Internet sensations are having an increasingly tangible impact on the availability of consumer goods. Whether it is shortages in feta cheese, pink jeans, or a Japanese mochi dessert, viral products can be difficult to forecast. To keep one step ahead of social media sell-outs, retailers must seek to implement more resilient supply chains, and DP World is a leader in just that.

Feta frenzy

The Greek cheese, feta, faced a shortage in major markets including the USA and Europe when a pasta recipe went viral on TikTok earlier this year.

The recipe, which involves baking a block of feta with tomatoes, olive oil, and salt before combining and serving with pasta, had more than 857.7 million views. Since feta is a protected designation of origin product, only cheese made in Greece with milk from ewes and goats can use the name.

Standardised products with specific places of origin provide an exemplary demonstration of how port-centric warehousing can aid suppliers confronted with disruptive demand trends. Utilising port-centric infrastructure, a larger supply of goods can be transhipped into an intermediary hub. There, containerised cargo destined for smaller markets can be deconsolidated and seamlessly loaded onto a new ship without breaking the seal.

For example, a sizeable shipment could travel from Greece to Northern Europe and eventually London Gateway facilities, where in-port warehousing can intimately manage perishable goods such as feta. From here, streamlined distribution using DP World’s inland networks can guarantee reduced lead times and maximum freshness.

Viral jeans

A multinational fashion retailer produced bold pink jeans that sold out online after they appeared in a TikTok post with over 50 million views.

When it comes to e-commerce and the social media snowball effect, consumer demand can spike dramatically. Port-centric warehousing solutions, such as DP World’s Logistics Park at London Gateway, can help create a more seamless transition as businesses look to scale up. To optimise efficiency and responsiveness, regionalised distribution hubs help streamline supply chains and improve time-to-market.

This fashion retailer offers an ideal model for a port-centric outlook. Businesses shipping from several different origins will reap huge benefits by employing free zone warehouse storage, such as that available at DP World Caucedo. Local and regional demand can then be conveniently delivered directly from the port.

Mochi madness

Mochi is a Japanese dessert made of a short-grain glutinous rice. A UK-based brand selling ice cream balls wrapped in the dough quickly gained traction on TikTok, leading to a 1,300% spike in sales and causing a nationwide scarcity.

In global cities where consumers command increasing convenience, manufacturers must engage strategic solutions to get ahead. One resolve is to position supply locally in dedicated urban storage. Known as micro-fulfilment, retailers can establish small-scale facilities in urban locations that are closer to the end-consumer, enabling a swift response to rapid increases in demand.

DP World’s best-in-class digital capabilities enhance micro-fulfilment strategies, providing improved inventory visibility and responsiveness.

Research by Boston Consulting Group indicates that more than $5 trillion, or 40%, of annual global retail sales is up for grabs as consumer markets shift. Retailers can take advantage of this with DP World’s expertise in a variety of markets.

Whether you are in the food or clothing industry, DP world can assist in cargo movement challenges during a specific period of increased demand. Digitalisation is critical when it comes to supply chains. It enables retailers and brands to have more control and an ability to make decisions faster as viral advertising precedes.

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