Reflecting on 2013: e-logistics

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For any long distance selling sector in Europe, high European delivery performance is a key driver for its success. The delivery sector is thus essential in the business model of e-commerce. It is for this reason that Ecommerce Europe has set up a Working Committee that is devoted to a better functioning cross-border logistics scheme in Europe.

In its position paper, Ecommerce Europe mentions 5 recommendations to boost cross border e-commerce in Europe:

  1. A European standardisation of delivery options (and features would remove dissimilarities in customers’ cross border delivery preferences for web merchants and provide more transparency towards customers concerning the available delivery options.
  2. Create a pan-European transport network solutions for more harmonisation in the methods and applications used; increase interoperability between communication systems of logistics service providers; and enhance transparency in pricing to limit the gap on cross border parcel delivery.
  3. Develop a decision support model for (small) web shops with regard to outsourcing logistics activities.
  4. In order to avoid unnecessary returns web merchants/e-fulfillers should take care of country specific requirements when sending parcels and use an up-to-date address verification tools as early as possible.
  5. Simplify and modernise the EU VAT system. Create “one-stop-shops” for VAT issues.

For 2014, Ecommerce Europe plans to intensify its E-Logistics activities as it continues strive for a more affordable, more sustainable and more efficient e-commerce sector in Europe. E-commerce is one of the few industries that experiences double digit growth (19% in 2012) and the future looks well. If given the right conditions, this growth can continue which is not only good for the sector itself, but also for the 500 million European consumers and in turn, the European economy as a whole.

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