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Logistics Providers Must Improve European E-commerce Offering, Report Says

Although mail, express and logistics companies are benefiting from the growth of e-commerce in Europe, to date few service providers have developed the sophisticated services which e-retailers demand.

That's the assessment of Cathy Roberson, Transport Intelligence senior Analyst and author of Ti's Europe e-commerce Logistics 2013 report.

Europe's e-commerce market is flourishing in the face of adversity. The sector has managed to defy continuing economic woes and the sluggish performance of overall retail sales to grow dynamically. This has provided the associated express and logistics industry with a very welcome boost, and has been a driving force behind the revenues - and profits - of many operators.

Nevertheless, she says, "A large proportion of logistics functions are still not outsourced, as retailers believe that they are better positioned to undertake these operations themselves. Likewise the product range provided by carriers is very patchy - as is service quality. The industry will need to up its game, otherwise it will prove a drag on the development of internet shopping as a whole."

According to the report, the European e-commerce logistics market was worth €39bn ($51bn) in 2012. Despite growth right across the region, the report points out that European countries are at different stages of online retail maturity. Currently, the United Kingdom, France and Germany comprise over 70 percent of total European online sales. The report provides a breakdown of the "e-logistics" market size by individual countries as well as analysing the structure of these markets.

Another factor in the uneven growth of Europe's e-commerce market is the challenge presented by cross-border trade such as language, culture, VAT fees, banking rules and other national regulations and legislation. European e-commerce Logistics 2013 highlights the key trends affecting the region's retail market, with a particular focus on these cross-border challenges as well as the growth of m-commerce and multichannel retailing.

Ti anticipates that the European e-commerce logistics market will grow to approximately €50bn ($65bn) over the next three years.

Europe e-commerce Logistics 2013 is the second report in Ti's e-commerce series, following on from North America e-commerce Logistics. Ti will complete the series with Asia Pacific e-commerce in the first half of 2013.

Source: Transport Intelligence

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