It is clearly sensible for fulfilment warehouses to be located where the biggest online retail markets are. In the case of Europe, that is the UK and Germany, says Robin Buxton of DK Fulfilment.
Towards the end of May of this year FedEx formally announced the takeover of global delivery and shipping market rival, TNT Express.
At the same time, the company revealed that it would be moving its European HQ from Brussels to the TNT site that it now owned in the Netherlands.
Being close to Schipol Airport, FedEx explained, made the TNT building ideally located in an area that the company sees as ‘an exceptional gateway to Europe.’
This is undoubtedly true when dealing with freight traffic but when it comes to serving the e-commerce market, Amsterdam’s geographical situation scores fewer plus points.
Given that the ability to provide the shortest order delivery time is now seen by most online retailers as being as important as the quality and price of the goods they’re selling, it is clearly sensible for fulfilment warehouses to be located where the biggest markets are. In the case of Europe, that’s the UK and Germany
UK consumers are Europe’s biggest internet shoppers. 13 per cent of total UK retail sales come via online channels and this figure is forecast to rise significantly and quickly as more and more UK consumers choose to avoid what, for many, is becoming an increasingly low grade experience – a trip to the local high street or out of town retail park.
The Germans are a close second and like their UK counterparts, German shoppers are buying more of everything – from food to electrical gadgets – online.
Shipping orders to UK or German customers from a UK or German base speeds up the delivery process and, in today’s fast moving e-commerce arena, one extra shipping day could mean a lost sale.
No one would seek to deny that, for freight movers, Schipol is an ‘an exceptional gateway to Europe’ but if you’re a European retailer looking for a gate that allows you to reach Europe’s largest online consumer markets quickly, cheaply and efficiently, you’d be better off looking in the UK and Germany, not Amsterdam.