Well-maintained trailers deliver a European e-commerce boom

European online retailing is enjoying a long phase of seemingly ever-lasting growth. Judging by recent media coverage, this growth looks unstoppable and provides a wonderful business opportunity for road freight transport companies with well-maintained trailer fleets. 

EU retail growth

Forrester Research predicts that e-commerce in Western Europe will grow 11.3% per year on average over the next five years, representing 13.9% of total retail sales by 2022. Excluding groceries, this number will rise to 20% of total retail sales in this region. [source: EcommerceNews.EU] 

Cross-border delivery

The prospects for e-commerce delivery across European borders are also promising. In-depth EU research into the internet purchasing habits of over 260,000 European respondents tells us that 33% of e-buyers made purchases from sellers in other EU countries in 2017 compared with 25% in 2012. Likewise, 22% of e-buyers bought from vendors outside the EU in 2017 compared to 12% in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, Luxembourgers made the most cross-border purchases with 74% buying from non-Luxembourg-based retailers. Turkey accounts for the lowest proportion of cross-border purchases (2%), just behind Romania (3%). [Source: EShopWorld]

In a further boost to European e-commerce and cross-border deliveries, the EU announced in March 2018 that it will establish a parcel delivery prices comparison website. This will enable consumers and businesses to have a reference point for domestic and cross-border delivery tariffs before opting for the best deal. According to an EU consultation, over two-thirds of consumers had given up on making online cross-border purchases because the delivery costs were too high.  A 2015 study found that cross-border parcel prices are on average 3 to 5 times higher than their domestic equivalents for all products. 

Top online sellers

Leading the European online sales league table is Amazon, which posted an online turnover of €38.5 billion in 2015. It is followed by Apple (€6.4 billion turnover), Dixons Carphone (€3.9 billion) and Cdiscount/Groupe Casino (€2.4 billion) [source: EShopWorld]

Analysing European online retailers from several angles, the IREU Top500 2017 list of European retailers found that Apple, Boots, H&M, Ikea, Nike, and Zara were statistically ahead of all the others and “represent the pinnacle of European multichannel retailing”. [Source: IREU Top500]

The greatest choice

Of the 800,000 online stores in Europe, 175,000 are in Germany. The UK is in second place with 108,000 online stores. The Netherlands takes third place with over 82,000 online stores. Researchers attribute this third place to several factors. They are the Netherlands’ high internet penetration rate and the fact that large e-commerce players including Amazon and eBay were comparatively slow to establish themselves in the Dutch market, thus enabling Dutch entrepreneurs to create local e-commerce sites that have enjoyed enduring popularity in the Netherlands. In fourth place is France with 75,000 online stores. [source:Ecommercenews.eu/Dataprovider]

Most popular buying categories

What online-purchased goods are you most likely to be transporting in your trailers?

The EU’s E-commerce Statistics for Individuals survey found that “clothes and sports goods” (64% of e-buyers) was the most popular online buying category. “Travel and accommodation” was the second category with 53% of e-buyers, followed by “household goods” (46%), “tickets for events” (39%) and “books, magazines and newspapers” (34%).

Keeping trailers in TIP top condition

To benefit from the exciting business opportunities provided by online retailing, you need to keep your trailers well-maintained in TIP top condition and, maximise their time on the road.

Having a trailer maintenance programme in place will minimise the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected trailer breakdown. All trailers need regular care, attention, and servicing. Consider outsourcing the maintenance and repair management programme to reliable, well-qualified experts such as TIP Trailer Services.

TIP provides a regularly scheduled trailer maintenance programme.  This helps you anticipate technical issues, keep costs under control and ensure that all trailers are fit for the road throughout the seasons.

Key trailer maintenance services

TIP’s trailer maintenance programme includes servicing, repair, regulatory compliance such as MOT, compulsory tests and periodic equipment tests.

The programme also covers tyre maintenance services and access to our Europe-wide roadside assistance services solution 24/7, 365 days per year.  We can manage repairs through our fixed price damage repair process. TIP can take responsibility for much of the non-core and time-consuming elements of your fleet administration. For further information on how you can keep your trailers in TIP top condition to win more online retail delivery contracts, please contact us using this form.

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