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eCommerce Shift is Fueling Global Shipping

Posted on March 05, 2019

Global eCommerce is growing quickly. No longer are consumers contained by borders when purchasing goods as they search for the perfect gift or item for their house. This has led to a surging wave of cross-border shipping throughout the world. The wave does not look to be cresting anytime soon. In fact, it is building to a tsunami.

eCommerce is at the eye of this storm as consumers increasingly shop without borders looking for not only the best deals but products that may not be available locally. While cross-border activity adds an additional level of revenue, it also exacerbates complexity compared to domestic shipping processes on which most shippers have built their businesses. 

As could be expected from the world wide web, eCommerce growth is an international phenomenon. According to a report from UK-based CTI Digital, China still paves the way as the eCommerce leader, with over $681 million, beating the U.S., who took in $438 million, by 35 percent. The three European leaders—the UK, France, and Germany—also maintain their positions as eCommerce leaders, the report said.

In fact, products that were once thought to belong in the brick-and-mortar domain exclusively are increasingly being sold globally. Inc. Magazine reported that Periscope by McKinsey surveyed more than 2,500 consumers around the world to see how consumers are researching and purchasing consumer packaged goods (CPG) products online. Like many other industries that were once dominated by offline sellers, the new research shows the CPG transactions are increasingly taking place on the internet.

High-End eCommerce

Luxury goods, furniture, and home furnishings, which were normally thought to need a personal touch to make the sale, are also seeing growth. This is adding to consumer delivery expectations from order entry to over-the-threshold local delivery, regardless of where the product is purchased or where it is delivered anywhere in the world. 

According to a December 2016 report from Euromonitor, global digital luxury sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 percent between 2016 to 2021 vs. a slim 2 percent in store.

In the United States alone, eCommerce sales of furniture and home furnishings were expected to hit $50.32 billion in 2018. That will account for just 9.6 percent of total retail eCommerce but represents the quickest growth (18.2 percent) among product categories. 

Despite the perception of the U.S. being the most tech-savvy and consumer-driven nation, according to the report, French (40 percent) and UK (39 percent) consumers showed the greatest diversity in multichannel shopping preferences, followed by shoppers in Germany (33 percent) and the U.S. (32 percent).

This continuing expansion of online sales around the world is ballooning the number of parcels being shipped globally. In fact, according to a 2018 report from Pitney Bowes, parcel shipping generated $279 billion in revenue last year, an increase of 11 percent over 2016, and is expected to top 100 billion parcels shipped by 2020. That is a lot of shipments traveling all around the world, adding logistical challenges from landed costs to customs to border security, to local delivery. 

To be successful, shippers will need the people, processes, and technology to manage an omnichannel, multi-carrier global supply chain from the first mile to the last inch. 

Learn from an International Panel

To get a jump on your global shipping, join us at 2 pm CST on March 7 when we co-host an online panel discussion with Parcel Magazine and ConnectShip that brings together shipping experts from across the world to help you better understand the latest global shipping trends, how they will impact your supply chain, and what you can do to address them. Amanda Armendariz, editor at Parcel Magazine, will moderate this exciting discussion on the state of global parcel shipping, which features industry leaders including:

  • Benn Bekic - Corporate Development - WiseTech Global
  • Bob Malley - Managing Director – Pierbridge
  • Kerry Holmes – Director, Europe and South Africa – SmartFreight
  • Rajeeb Mohapatra - SVP & GM - Pitney Bowes Commerce Services
  • Tim Leary - Director of Operations - ConnectShip 

 Here is what you will learn in this not-to-be-missed session:

  • What are the trends driving the global surge in parcel shipping
  • What is the state of parcel shipping in non-U.S. markets
  • The challenges faced by freight forwarders, retailers, and technology providers in an increasingly more complex cross-border parcel supply chain
  • The problems associated with shipping into and out of unknown markets
  • How to simplify the global parcel supply chain through partnerships
This article is exclusive to Pierbridge.com

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