– Current reports show that already 85 percent. Polish Internet users use the offer of e-shops. What is behind this state of affairs? First, the lockdowns that have disrupted traditional trade. This, in turn, has contributed to the transformation of many companies, consisting of a rapid transfer of business to the Internet. Another reason for the increased interest of consumers in online shopping is the last mile and the security of delivery and collection of purchased goods, mainly through automatic parcel machines, thanks to which recipients could withdraw easily and safely parcel security – says Hubert Walczak, e-commerce manager at Rohlig Suus Logistics.
According to eMarketer.com global online sales growth in 2021 will be 27.6% and its value will reach $4.2 trillion. While in the United States growth is estimated at 15%, in the United Kingdom and South Korea it is more than 28%, in China it is already 52.1%, or 2,799 billion dollars.
Courier companies report a delivery time of between two and five working days on average for packages shipped within Europe. Most often, for an additional fee, this time can be reduced even to one day.
Packages shipped with orders are collected from sellers directly by couriers or at points of a given company. DHL Express calculates that in Poland it has 1,000 such points, and worldwide – 86,000, while UPS in Europe has 25,000.
The next step is the sorting plant or local warehouse, where the package is scanned and prepared for onward travel. In the case of an air route, it will be a cargo terminal, where cargo and the like are placed in a container and then under the deck of a passenger plane or in the hold of a freighter. In the case of UPS, packages from around the world are first routed to the company’s largest freight hub in Europe, Cologne. From there, planes take them to Poland – they land five times a week at the airports of Warsaw, Poznań, Gdańsk, Wrocław and Katowice. DHL Express in Poland, on the other hand, has six terminals. Deliveries to them arrive from the regional hub at Leipzig Airport in Germany.
See also: It is one of the largest aircraft landing at Chopin Airport. But it takes a maximum of three passengers
Then, from the airport hub, the parcel is routed to the next local sorting center closest to the recipient. There, the sorted parcels are taken to couriers who deliver them to the specified address or pick-up point.
For parcels from outside the European Union, the situation can be more complicated. Here there are customs and tax issues. Customs clearance may only take a few hours when the documents are correct, but if there are errors or doubts, the shipment may be held up at the border for up to a month.
Passengers in seats, expeditions below deck. What is ventral cargo?
Already today the airlines around 30-35 percent. they derive their income from the transport of goods. Not only passenger baggage and mail travel below the decks of airliners, but also cargo containers. According to calculations by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), E-commerce is responsible for one-fifth of air freight, which accounts for 18%. total transport by air. IATA expects the share of e-commerce to increase to 22% in 2022.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines made money on freight mainly due to what is known as belly cargo, i.e. carrying passengers below deck. The closure of borders, a drastic drop in demand for air transport, cuts in connection networks, practically from week to week have limited the availability of this means of transport. And before that, the huge demand for ocean freight and containers has further increased, only extending delivery times by water and driving up prices.
Airlines, eager to meet the demand for air cargo, have maintained some routes despite the lack of passengers and, responding to the growing demand for cargo transport, have removed seats from some passenger planes, creating space for additional loading. IATA calculates that these planes accounted for 22 percent. transport work, measured by the so-called tonne-kilometres, on routes between Asia and the Middle East, together for 23%. between Europe and the Middle East over the period from April to December 2020. At the same time, the share of freighters (aircraft adapted exclusively to freight transport) reached 43% respectively. and 47 percent On routes between the Middle East and North America, freighters accounted for 58 percent of total passengers. freight transport, passenger aircraft after temporary conversion – 18% and passengers (belly freight) – 24%. A year earlier, the market was only split between freighter and freighter in a ratio of about 2:1, and between the Middle East and North America – almost half and half.
For example, only LOT Polish Airlines in 2020, incl. due to all-cargo flights aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, they achieved a 61% increase in cargo carried compared to expected declines in this area. Airfreight is of utmost importance on long-haul routes operated with jumbo jets. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry up to 31 tons of cargo below deck.
Confinement in the air. The sky is supported by e-commerce freighters on board
When air passenger traffic in European skies fell by more than 90% at certain times in 2020, it turned out that in terms of number of operations, the top three air carriers are… DHL Express.
– When the lockdown was in effect around the world, air routes were suspended and at the same time more people started shopping online which increased cargo traffic. Stagnation and long delivery delays were inevitable. The logistics industry has faced challenges because despite the global situation customers wanted their packages as soon as possible – explains Tomasz Buraś, President of DHL Express Polska.
He adds that the pandemic has significantly changed the market for international express parcels by air. – In 2020, more than 50%. of all volume at DHL Express Polska were e-commerce shipments. Additionally, we have seen an increase in import and export shipments to SME customers. Last year, parcels sent by Polish SMEs went mainly to the United States, Germany and France. For example, the number of items sent to the United States increased by 83%. compared to 2019. Now we also see that these numbers are not only maintained, but also increase in certain months, he says.
Tomasz Buraś points out that DHL Express’ global logistics network handled 40% more business-to-consumer e-commerce volume last year. But E-commerce is not only B2C transactions, but also B2B, that is, between companies. DHL calculates that this e-commerce market grew by 18.2% in 2019 to $12.2 billion, outpacing Internet-to-consumer commerce. – It is also predicted that by 2027 it will grow by 70%, reaching a value of $20.9 billion. They have an impact on this situation, among others millennials, also known as millennials. This is due to the fact that they are currently responsible for 73 percent. all B2B purchasing decisions – highlighted.
Online shopping, however, is not just the domain of millennials and the younger generation. It turns out that another group has made its presence increasingly visible in the consumer market (B2C) in recent years. – As the recent analysis of DPDgroup’s E-shopper Barometer has shown, Today, their presence in e-stores is clearly marked by mature consumers who, during the pandemic, have found themselves perfectly at ease in the world of digital shopping. – notes Rafał Nawłoka, President of DPD Polska.
The growing popularity of e-commerce poses challenges to international logistics. – The key to success is flexibility, understanding the needs of many parties, diversification and adding value in the last mile, incl. bring bulky items, installations, assembly, recycling. In the near future, we will observe the evolution of purchases and deliveries, reinforcing the D2C model (direct to consumer, eng. direct to consumer)test new business models and tackle global supply chain and post-covid bottlenecks – adds Hubert Walczak from Rohlig Suus Logistics.
The article is part of Business Insider Trends Magazine – a special issue of BI magazine accompanying the speaker series within the platform Business Insider Trends. These are monthly events where leading experts, professionals and scientists discuss the most important business and economic trends. The partner for the current issue of the magazine is PayPal – the author of the report “The global e-commerce industry is facing huge changes. Trade Without Borders Report 2021“.