Logistics is the lifeline of ecommerce. As more and more companies start to sell online, as more people start shopping online and as the quantum or volume of orders become more demanding to manage, the logistics industry has to grow, develop and do away with the frailties and limitations to make ecommerce viable for the future. There are already reports of massive deliveries causing jams in metropolitan areas. Cross border deliveries are still expensive and many small to medium logistics companies that have cropped up in recent times are yet to gear up for the challenges. At such a time, it is worthwhile to look at the current trends in European logistics and how the industry is poised for the immediate future.
The European logistics industry employs more than eleven million people. This includes the behemoths in the local courier industry and global networks such as courierpoint.com. In terms of performance, the countries faring best in logistics are Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Sweden. Logistics contributes about 14% of the total GDP of European countries. This however is not just about ecommerce. This includes everything from personal to commercial cargo, large scale freight to small scale courier service to Spain catering to some company selling its products online. The entire logistics industry is being assessed as a whole and not with couriers segregated from shipping on a large scale.
The current trends in the logistics industry indicate that more companies are venturing out with low cost services, without compromising on the quality of deliverables. In other words, low cost couriers are not compromising on timely delivery or safe management of the parcels. Cross border logistics continue to remain a hassle for most companies as it is expensive and quite complicated. This is still a niche that only large courier companies and shipping firms are engaged in. What’s also apparent is the increase in specialized logistics. There are companies that are only attending to the shipping or delivery of certain types of items, from consumer items to perishable goods, from books to personal couriers. We are likely to see more companies offering specialized logistics.
The labor shortage problem will become a concern for the logistics industry and that would again bring in the issue of efficiency. If the logistics industry in Europe can overcome the challenges of labor, cost and management of heavy traffic, then it can make windfall gains in the next ten years, most notably owing to the rise of ecommerce.